8          (a)           The Association to Determine

The Association shall determine annually the date on which the playing season shall commence and the season shall terminate not  later  than  the  following  1st June. Each Competition shall within the limit laid down by The Association, determine the length of its own playing season.

(b)           The Close Season

The “Close Season” shall be defined as the period between 1st June and 30th June inclusive each calendar year, save where The Association makes an order to the contrary.

(c)            Matches Which May be Played in the Close Season

No Matches other than the following may be played in the Close Season:

(i)             small-sided Matches as specified in Rule B7, mini-soccer Matches or Matches played according to “The Laws of the Game                     – 9 v 9” and those organised in connection with works’ clubs sports days on private grounds and at fetes and similar sports                     functions;

(ii)           Matches between Army, Navy and Royal Air Force teams and teams of the Auxiliary Forces in Competitions whilst in camp.                    Such Competitions shall be strictly confined to the units concerned and gate money shall not be taken;

(iii)          Matches involving members of boys’ brigades, scouts and kindred organisations in Competitions whilst in camp;

(iv)          Matches for national representative teams or clubs played under the auspices of FIFA or UEFA; and

(v)           Matches between Clubs in the Premier League and the EFL for the following season, and between Clubs in The FA                                        Women’s Super League. This sub-paragraph (v) shall also apply to any successor in title to any of the Leagues specified;

(vi)          11v11 matches in sanctioned Leagues or Competitions that meet the criteria in accordance with the “Regulations for the                       Sanction and Control of Competitions” and are approved by The Association or sanctioning Association;

(vii)        Single day, weekend and bank holiday competitions and festivals meeting the criteria and receiving sanction; and

(viii)       Pilot projects granted dispensation by The Association or sanctioning Association.

(d)           Matches Which May be Played Prior to the Commencement of the Season

After 30th June, and prior to the commencement of the playing season, Matches may be played between teams of the same Club or between teams of different Clubs.

(e)           An appropriation will be made annually from the amount payable to the competing Clubs, The Association and the “Cup Pool”                              from “The FA Challenge Cup Semi-Finals and Final” of 5.5% and 2.5% from the net receipts of “The FA Community Shield” to which                    the EFL will contribute 6.3% of the net gate from its “League Cup Semi- Finals and Final”. The total amount will then be distributed                      to Affiliated Associations as decided by The Association.

(f)            Eligibility of Players

Players who have not previously been registered or recognised playing members of Clubs, or who have not been engaged for the following season may play in matches after 30th June and prior to the commencement of the playing season.

(g)           Special Provisions

(i)             The appropriate sanctioning association, whether it be The Association and/or an Affiliated Association, may grant special                     permission for Competition and other Matches to be played preceding the dates fixed by The Association for the opening                     of the playing season and shall attach to the granting of such permission whatever conditions it may deem expedient.

(ii)           Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule B3(b), The Association shall determine in each calendar year, the date on which                         and the financial conditions under which “The Football Association Community Shield” Match shall be played.

(iii)          Notwithstanding the provisions of this Rule, Affiliated Associations shall determine the dates on which “County Cup”                                  Matches shall be played.