Premier League clubs will meet on Thursday to discuss a variety of issues ahead of the new season, including potential curtailment plans, broadcasting agreements and the reintroduction of the five substitute ruling.
This week’s shareholders’ meeting will see the Premier League put forward proposals for how the standings will be finalised in the event the season must be curtailed, amid fears a second spike in coronavirus cases throughout the winter months could leave the campaign in jeopardy.
The unprecedented halt to last season saw clubs fail to agree on how the standings should be finalised should it not be completed, with the behind-closed-doors return of the Premier League eventually removing any controversy.
According to the Mail, however, the league’s authorities are now keen to avoid a similar situation amid a worst-case scenario for the 2019/20 campaign, with a decision on final standings in the event of an incomplete season written into the competition’s rules ahead of the season’s first fixtures.
The proposals are believed to include standings remaining final should all teams have played at least 50% of their fixtures, whilst points-per-game will be used if sides have played differing numbers of matches, with all representative clubs set to vote on the proposals this week.
Premier League clubs will also vote once more on the possibility of using five substitutes next season, the ruling having been introduced following the division’s return from the pandemic enforced lockdown.
Clubs initially voted to return to three substitutes ahead of the 2020/21 season, though the division’s leading clubs are pushing for the changes to be reconsidered. Any proposals must gain a majority of 14 votes, though there is a consensus from the league’s lesser sides that a five-sub ruling favours clubs with deeper and more expensively assembled squads.
Also on the agenda is an increase in live televised games with fans still unable to attend stadia, with several fan groups demanding an increase in televised fixtures due to the uncertainty on when supporters will be allowed to return.
As things stand, 220 fixtures out of the Premier League’s 380-game season will be screened live with a further 20 having been made available to the rights holders, though clubs are reluctant to give up more games free of charge and broadcasters are unwilling to increase their fees.