The Premier League are seemingly hatching a plan which allow the current season to be completed with even 3pm Saturday games to be televised.
Football around the world ground to a halt last month due to the coronavirus crisis, and while Europe is currently experiencing its peaks, the campaign has been suspended indefinitely in most countries.
Nevertheless, with UEFA postponing EURO 2020 to next year and club competitions being pushed back, the summer schedule is now free which in turn gives domestic leagues more flexibility while trying to plan when they can finish the current seasons.
Reports on Monday suggest that the Premier League is in advanced talks with the UK government over resuming games in June behind closed doors, with a tentative green light being given to the plan.
That is significant for two major reasons, not only in ensuring a fair outcome to the campaign but also to allow clubs to receive their TV money which forms such a fundamental part of their financial strength.
It comes after UEFA lifted the blackout ban on 3pm kickoffs on Saturday for the rest of the season, with Sky and BT now able to show those games if an agreement is reached, which will be especially helpful considering the plan above would see matches played behind closed doors.
Premier League clubs were facing a £750m financial blackhole if TV money was lost if the season couldn’t be completed, while additional fees were also linked to the FA Cup and for those still involved in European competitions.
EFL clubs could also have an online service to allow fans to watch, and so while the priority remains the safety of the UK public amid this crisis, clubs up and down England will undoubtedly be delighted if these plans get the green light as they can play any remaining games and pocket huge TV fees even on games at 3pm on Saturdays to ensure that their revenue isn’t adversely affected.
Should the current season not be completed though for whatever reason, that will undoubtedly lead to a much more complicated scenario where clubs will be desperate to claim their TV payments, perhaps with changes made to the agreement for next season to give Sky and BT more games to make up that shortfall.
That would give them a reason not to demand their TV rights payment back as they’ve been hit with subscriptions being paused or cancelled during the current stoppage and so being given more games next season could be a solution.
Time will tell how the situation plays out, and importantly if the pandemic will start to ease in the coming weeks to allow for the touted plan above for June.