NEWPORT County AFC would play both semi-final legs behind closed doors if they get to the League Two play-offs and fans are not allowed back into Rodney Parade, says EFL chief executive Trevor Birch.

The Exiles head to Southend on Saturday needing a point to guarantee a top-seven finish.

Cambridge, Bolton and Morecambe are battling for automatic promotion with the unlucky team having the consolation of a play-off spot.

Five teams are fighting for the remaining three places - County, Tranmere, Forest Green, Exeter and Salford.

Both semi-finals will be played on Thursday, May 20 and Sunday, May 23 with some fixtures in England set to be played in front of reduced crowds from the Monday, May 17.

However, there is not yet any date for supporters being allowed back into events in Wales with this week’s elections having an impact on restrictions.

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With Swansea City already secure in the Championship play-offs, the EFL has moved to ensure that the Welsh clubs will not be at a disadvantage if there is no green light for fans.

"The two-legged play-off matches are hugely significant for both clubs and their supporters and it would be unfair from a sporting integrity perspective to have the support of a crowd at one game and not the other, alongside the financial implications resting on the outcome,” Birch told WalesOnline.

"Both ourselves and the Welsh Government are in agreement that fans safely returning in numbers to stadiums is crucial for the sustainability of EFL clubs in Wales and we will both be working hard to try and achieve a positive outcome not only in the short-term for those who may be involved in the play-off competition but in the longer-term as we set our sights on returning to full stadiums from the start of next season."

If Michael Flynn’s side beat the relegated Shrimpers then they will have home advantage for the deciding leg of the semi-finals.

Free Press Series: Michael Flynn applauds the County fans after the 2019 play-off defeat to TranmereMichael Flynn applauds the County fans after the 2019 play-off defeat to Tranmere

County played in front of 1,734 fans at Leyton Orient in December but are yet to play in front of their own supporters, although that could change if they go all the way in their promotion push at Wembley.

The FA Cup final on Saturday, May 15 has been selected as a pilot event in front of a total of 22,000 fans.

Leicester City and Chelsea have been given 6,250 tickets each with 9,500 tickets going to residents in the Brent area of London, as well as key workers, stadium guests and FA stakeholders.

The League Two play-off final is at the home of English football on Monday, May 31 (kick-off 3pm).

First County have to ensure they are in the play-offs with work still to do in Southend.