According to the Telegraph (subscription required), Premier League clubs have been informed that the 2020/21 top-flight season must start by the first week of September – at the latest.
The Premier League – like almost all other major sports leagues, has been suspended indefinitely due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the world.
There is still around a quarter of the current season that is left to be played. The Telegraph claim that the top-flight’s latest deadline for next season effectively means that play can’t be resumed any later than July.
It’s added that the Premier League are ‘hopeful’ that the current season can resume on the week beginning June 8. Of course this is all dependent on what the Government’s restrictions will be at this moment in time.
The Telegraph report that these messages were relayed to the 20 Premier League clubs in a video-conference meeting on Friday morning.
It’s claimed that clubs will be notified by the Government that they can resume training three weeks before matches will be allowed to continue – with all being played behind closed doors.
The Telegraph also add that the Premier League are yet to address issues regarding contracts for players, with expired contract often ending on June 30.
Should the season be extended beyond this points, teams could be without players whose deals would have expired.
Whenever the Premier League is to return, Coronavirus testing would be key to plans to ensure the safety of resuming the competition.
It’s added that the top-flight would require the Government’s backing if they were to use testing, the Telegraph also add that the Premier League are also ‘keen not to take resources away from vital services’ – which we can assume relates to the NHS.
The deadline of the first week of September is based on the latest date that the competition could start so as not to impact the European Championships, which have been delayed until next summer.
The Telegraph claim that the ‘prime importance’ is to not ‘damage’ two seasons by possibly extending the current campaign beyond the summer.
This season’s Premier League season started on August 9, if the first week of September is the final deadline for next season, this is a delay of just around a month.
When you factor that almost a quarter of the current season needs to be played, pre-season would have take place, as well as players being handed some time off – this all forms a very tight deadline which may be difficult to stick to.
Whilst some fans may not like the possibility of voiding the season, the point about ensuring that only one season is damaged rather than two is very understandable.
Football’s return shouldn’t even be discussed at this moment in time if I’m being totally honest, but as it is, do you think that voiding this season would be the best thing when all things are considered?