AUGUST is being lined up for a resumption of match action in a draft proposal drawn up by Super League clubs and leaked to media outlets.

Three potential fixture models, each with different Grand Final and Challenge Cup Final dates stretching as far as mid-January 2021, feature in a detailed plan shown to the BBC, among others.

There is an aim, too, it is said, for games from October 1 to be played in front of fans instead of behind-closed doors action for the initial restart.

Planners are working on the basis that no matches would take place before the end of July, when the Government's job retention scheme applies – meaning any staff and players on furlough would have the bulk of their salaries covered.

All of this would be pending Government approval and new spikes not developing in the coronavirus pandemic

Teams who have not completed the opening seven rounds that had been originally scheduled, with poor weather having led to some postponements in February, could be called back into action over the first two weekends of August – this affects St Helens, Hull KR, Toronto (six matches played), Leeds, Huddersfield, Wakefield (five matches) and Catalans Dragons (four matches).

Round 8 would come into play on the weekend of August 13-16, with Warrington Wolves, Wigan Warriors, Castleford Tigers, Hull FC and Salford Red Devils then also returning to the fray.

And then three different options are highlighted from there, the first leading to a Grand Final on November 28 and a Challenge Cup Final on October 25.

The second model would provide a Grand Final on December 12 and the Challenge Cup Final on November 8.

And the third route culminates in a Grand Final on January16 and the Challenge Cup Final on November 28.

In each proposal, the play-offs is amended to the top four teams playing in straight knock-out semi-finals and there would be between four to five midweek matches.

Next season is currently set to begin on January 28 and leading into a home Rugby League World Cup at the end of the domestic campaign.

An ashes series between England and Australia is currently scheduled for this autumn on these shores but the fixture planning here and Down Under, where the State of Origin is pencilled in for a similar period, seems set to mean that will not be taking place.

The plans are understood to be put before the Rugby Football League board of directors next Thursday.

The proposed date of August 16 for Round 8 is also seen as crucial to minimise any rebate due to Sky Sports, which holds broadcast rights through to the end of the 2021 campaign, but there is also a clear willingness to bring fans back as well as fixtures.

While both football and cricket are essentially working with behind-closed-doors scenarios for the forseeable future, there are signs Super League is entertaining a more optimistic timetable.

Season-ticket holder revenues and matchday receipts are of vital importance to the clubs and the apparent willingness to consider a later than expected programme could be explained by a shared desire to host as many matches as possible with supporters.

October 1 is the stated date for the earliest possible opening of the turnstiles, though as with the rest of the details that remains dependent on government guidance, health advice and the wider societal spread of Covid-19.

Given the average attendances at most Super League fixtures and the comparative size of the stadiums involved, social distancing measures could potentially be undertaken without substantially compromising attendances.

Following today's leak of the plans, Super League chief executive Robert Elstone has issued an open letter.

"We are now at a stage where we have three advanced models, based around a season restart date of mid-August, differentiated largely on when we expect the season to end," he wrote.

"These plans will be refined over the short term as we learn lessons from the relaxation of social distancing, the return to work, the re-start of other sports and the general trend of virus spread and control.

"While it is as certain as it can be that our restart will take place behind closed doors, what is most important to you and us is when fans will be allowed back into our stadiums.

"Speculation on that date, and there is an absence of any well-informed 'best-estimates', has been factored into our fixture planning with a greater number of games scheduled towards the end of the projected season.

"In addition, work has already begun on crowd management in a Covid environment to ensure we're as ready as we can be when the opportunity first arises.

"As has been evident from the welcome return of the Bundesliga, sport is almost unrecognisable without its fans. But it is better than no sport and it will, if it goes well, set a precedent for us and other sports to follow."