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When does football return? Your guide to key dates in Europe's top leagues

Updated on 2:15pm GMT 13 June 2023
When does football return? Your guide to key dates in Europe's top leagues
Alex Wrigley
Alex Wrigley
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Content Editor at Free Super Tips, Alex was born in the shadow of Old Trafford and is an avid Man Utd fan. After graduating from university he combined his love of football, writing and betting to join FST and now closely follows goings-on in all of the top European leagues.

The main European football season drew to a close on Saturday night as Manchester City completed an historic treble in Istanbul but football fans are already looking ahead to the next campaign.

Of course, there is plenty of sport to enjoy during the summer months but, for those with eyes for elite-level football only, here are some key dates for the return of European football.


Key dates from across Europe

Premier League

The Premier League returns to a semblance of normality for the first time in three seasons for the 2023/24 campaign and Manchester City will be looking for an unprecedented fourth-successive Premier League title.

The 2022/23 campaign saw us lose Leicester, Leeds and Southampton to the second tier, with Burnley, Sheffield United and Premier League-debutants Luton replacing them.

Key dates

  • Premier League fixtures announced – 15th June 2023
  • Premier League start date – August 12th 2023
  • Premier League end date – May 19th 2024
  • Mid-season break – January 13th – January 20th 2024
  • Summer transfer window – June 14th – September 1st 2023
  • Winter transfer window – January 1st – February 1st 2024

La Liga

Barcelona won their 27th league title in 2022/23 but Real Madrid will be hungry to reclaim the lost prize as they look for a record-extending 36th Spanish title, although they will have to do so without Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema after his big-money move to Saudi Arabia.

Valladolid, Espanyol and Elche were the three teams relegated to the Segunda Division, while Granada and Las Palmas return after one and five year absences respectively and the final promotion spot will go to either Levante or Alaves.

Key dates

  • La Liga start date – August 12th 2023
  • La Liga end date – May 26th 2024
  • Summer transfer window – June 14th – September 1st 2023
  • Winter transfer window – January 1st – February 1st 2024

Serie A

Napoli strolled to just the third league title in their history last term and the first since Diego Maradona’s reign but they will have to try and defend Serie A without manager Luciano Spalletti, who requested a sabbatical from the dugout.

Spezia, Cremonese and Sampdoria found themselves at the wrong end of the table on judgement day and return to Serie B, with Frosinone, Genoa and Cagliari replacing them.

Key dates

  • Serie A start date – August 20th 2023
  • Serie A end date – May 26th 2024
  • Summer transfer window – June 14th – September 1st 2023
  • Winter transfer window – January 1st – February 1st 2024

Bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund failed to make the most of a golden opportunity as they lost the Bundesliga title on the final day of the season, handing Bayern Munich an 11th-successive title.

Schalke and Hertha Berlin were two big names to be relegated once again, while Heidenheim will feature in the Bundesliga for the first time in their history alongside Darmstadt, who have been out of the top tier for six years.

Key dates

  • Bundesliga start date – August 18th 2023
  • Bundesliga end date – 18th May 2024
  • Summer transfer window – June 14th – September 1st 2023
  • Winter transfer window – January 1st – February 1st 2024

Ligue 1

Despite a disappointing overall performance, PSG clinched their 11th Ligue 1 title with a game to spare but may have to defend the trophy without the star trio of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar next season.

A reduction to an 18-team league saw Auxerre, Ajaccio, Troyes and Angers relegated to Ligue 2, with Le Havre promoted for the first time in 14 years and Metz bounding straight back up.

Key dates

  • Ligue 1 start date – 12th August 2023
  • Ligue 1 end date – 18th May 2024
  • Summer transfer window – June 14th – September 1st 2023
  • Winter transfer window – January 1st – February 1st 2024

English Football League

While a money-spinning promotion to the top flight is the stuff of every club’s dreams, there are stories everywhere in the EFL’s three divisions, including a return to the EFL for Wrexham after a long 15-year wait.

Key dates

  • EFL start date – August 5th 2023
  • Championship play-off final – May 26th 2024
  • League One play-off final – May 18th 2024
  • League Two play-off final – May 19th 2024
  • Summer transfer window – June 14th – September 1st 2023
  • Winter transfer window – January 1st – February 1st 2024

Champions League

Manchester City will undoubtedly be favourites to retain their first Champions League title but, as always, they will face stiff competition.

26 teams are already guaranteed a spot in the group stages, with the key talking points being the return of Newcastle, as well as the likes of Union Berlin and Lens pulling off extraordinary seasons.

Key dates

  • Champions League first qualifying round – July 11th/12th 2023
  • Champions League second qualifying round – July 25th/26th 2023
  • Champions League third qualifying round – August 8th/9th 2023
  • Champions League play-offs – August 22/23rd 2023
  • Champions League group stage start date – September 19th/20th 2023
  • Champions League knockout stage start date – March 5th/6th 2024
  • Champions League final – June 1st 2024

Europa League

Europa Conference League champions West Ham secure Europa League football despite their miserable domestic campaign, while record-winners Sevilla are bumped up to the Champions League after their seventh win in the competition.

  • Europa League third qualifying round – August 10th 2023
  • Europa League play-offs – August 24th 2023
  • Europa League group stage start date – September 21st 2023
  • Europa League knockout stage start date – February 15th 2024
  • Europa League final – May 22nd 2024

Europa Conference League

West Ham secured their first trophy in almost half-a-century and fellow Premier League side Aston Villa are likely to be among the favourites for the 2023/24 instalment of the Europa Conference League, although the presence of Juventus could prove a big stumbling block.

  • Europa Conference League first qualifying round – July 13th 2023
  • Europa Conference League second qualifying round – July 27th 2023
  • Europa Conference League third qualifying round – August 10th 2023
  • Europa Conference League play-offs – August 24th 2023
  • Europa Conference League group stage start date – September 21st 2023
  • Europa Conference League knockout stage start date – February 15th 2024
  • Europa Conference League final – May 29th 2024

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