THE dust has barely settled on an eventful season for Colchester United.

But already thoughts are beginning to turn to the 2020-21 League Two campaign - and what it might hold for the U's.

The current season officially ended for Colchester last week, following their 3-2 aggregate play-off defeat to Exeter City.

And their players are now enjoying a well-earned break.

But what of next season?

Following an EFL meeting this week, a start date of August 29 has reportedly been earmarked for the new campaign, which is expected to start behind closed doors.

And it is understood that a back up date of September 12 has also been put forward, should the first-choice date prove too early.

But with the Covid-19 pandemic still ongoing, clubs would still have to adhere to testing guidelines and safety proceedures, in order to get the season underway.

And any players who are on furlough would also have to be recalled, costing clubs more money.

In a statement last week, U's chairman Robbie Cowling admitted they are 'extremely nervous' about the financial implications of next season, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

He said: "The oncoming train we face is the end of furlough payments.

"Therefore, we’re desperate to get next season started so we can get some income but extremely nervous how that will work out financially."

The League Two line-up is now taking shape for next season - but there are still issues to be resolved.

Swindon Town, Crewe Alexandra, Plymouth Argyle and Northampton Town have all been promoted.

They have been replaced by three teams coming down, one fewer team than usual due to Bury’s expulsion from the league.

Colchester will have an Essex derby to look forward to again next season following Southend United's relegation from League One.

They will be joined in the fourth tier by Bolton Wanderers and Tranmere Rovers.

National League champions Barrow have been promoted back to the Football League, following a 48-year absence.

And they will be joined by the winner of the National League play-off final, which is set to take place at Wembley on August 2.

There is still a discrepancy on whether or not Stevenage or Macclesfield Town will be relegated from League Two, this season.

Stevenage finished bottom and look set to go down, providing the EFL receives assurances that the National League will go ahead, next season.

However, the EFL have this week said they will appeal against the sanctions imposed on Macclesfield, last month - meaning the Silkmen could yet be relegated.