The Premier League is aiming to stave off a ‘financial catastrophe’ within the game by getting football back underway in 10 weeks time, pencilling in June 1st as a potential date to restart the season.
With the coronavirus crisis spreading its way across the globe, all major sporting events in the UK have been indefinitely suspended, with all fixtures currently postponed until April 30th at the very earliest.
There is a general acceptance that even that is likely to prove too soon the get the beautiful game back underway, with the Telegraph today reporting that the Premier League is now ‘tentatively’ looking to restart the season on June 1st.
The 12 month postponement of Euro 2020 has opened up additional space in the footballing calendar in which to conclude the season, with the English top-flight looking to play the remaining nine league fixtures, as well as the remaining three rounds of the FA Cup, over a six week period, bringing the curtain down on the campaign on July 11.
That would enable the league to fulfil its contractual commitments to its variety of partners and rights holders such as Sky Sports and BT Sport who have invested millions into the game, with a failure to complete the season on time potentially causing a ‘financial catastrophe’.
It is being planned that the remaining fixtures are still played behind closed doors, however, with safety rules requiring the presence of ambulances and doctors, the plan is still dependent on the government lifting their current restrictions on sporting events.
If the season can indeed be completed by mid July, the plan would be to have a short, four-week summer break, before kicking off the 2020/21 campaign on schedule on August 8th.
So far, there have been 5,018 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in the UK, the tenth highest in the world, with the rate of infection still on the rise.