In the latest Premier League meeting to discuss how best to deal with the coronavirus crisis, a number of key points were raised.
The season has been suspended since March and remains so indefinitely as the UK continues to battle the outbreak with strict measures in place from the government for the general public.
As things stand, there is no chance of football resuming until next month given the lockdown is in force for another three weeks at least, and so it remains to be seen if it is extended further in May depending on the figures collected.
However, it seems as though planning is underway to decide on how to complete the Premier League season, and BBC Sport note that ultimately five key points came out of the meeting between clubs on Friday.
- Finishing season in 40-day window
- Clubs remain committed to playing all 92 remaining fixtures
- June 30 deadline not discussed, ‘possible scheduling models’ instead
- Green light from government needed
- Coronavirus tests would have to be widely available to public before players
It is reiterated on several occasions in the report that clubs are committed to completing the season, with 92 fixtures yet to be played.
That will of course be music to the ears of Liverpool as they hope to wrap up the title, while it will surely also be the fairest way to determine the Champions League qualification battle and relegation scrap.
Meanwhile, a June 30 deadline was not discussed as alternative scheduling models were up for debate instead, with that date significant due to player contracts expiring and new commercial deals coming into force for clubs.
Further, it was suggested that the season could be completed in a 40-day window which would be a huge boost for football fans desperately hoping for some live action to lift spirits and morale through this difficult time.
However, there are still major obstacles. It’s added that this all hinges on the government giving the green light to resume sporting events even behind closed doors, while coronavirus tests would be prioritised for the general public and not for players, coaches, staff and media who would attend games.
With all that in mind there is still a lot to do it seems before we’re back on track, but with the Bundesliga and Germany tentatively moving back towards a return in May, they could pave the way for others to follow. That said, they haven’t been hit as hard by the pandemic as other countries.
As per the Guardian, resuming the season on the weekend of June 13-14 has been discussed, with UEFA said to want domestic leagues completed by July 31 to leave August clear for Champions League and Europa League games.
That would involve a ‘pre-season’ for players starting around May 10-14, although again, this all hinges on government measures and the ability to adhere to guidelines.
In contrast, the report offers the worst-case scenario too given how unpredictable the coronavirus could yet prove to be, with the pessimistic view being that there might not be any football until October.
That though is surely unlikely given the financial ramifications involved for clubs up and down the country as well as the significant benefits for the public to have live sports back on if safe to do so in a controlled environment with no fans.