The Premier League finally announced that they have suspended all fixtures until next month amid the coronavirus outbreak crisis.
Initially, the league released a statement on Thursday confirming that fixtures would take place as planned this weekend, with PM Boris Johnson opting against banning live events.
However, after an increase in cases, including Chelsea ace Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta testing positive for coronavirus, all football in England has been suspended until April 4.
As per the league’s official statement, their intention is to return on April 4, at which point they have various options in terms of either completing the campaign by pushing fixtures back, or coming up with a reduced schedule to try and finish at a similar time.
That is what is hinted at in their statement, as it’s added: “Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.”
However, much will surely depend on UEFA’s meeting next week, as BBC Sport note that they will discuss whether or not EURO 2020 can go ahead as planned this summer.
Given the scale of the issue and the expectation that things may get worse yet, the idea of playing the tournament across Europe seems like a poor idea, and so it would come as no surprise if it is postponed or perhaps even cancelled.
If that is the case, that could allow domestic competitions and the Champions League and Europa League to finish later than initially scheduled, with games going into the summer.
With the plan hinted at above from the Premier League to play rescheduled games, that extra flexibility with the schedule will surely come as a huge boost, but time will tell what is decided and importantly, whether or not the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak allows it even at a later date.