The Premier League has been halted as the coronavirus pandemic grips the sporting world and no clear conclusion is in sight yet.
Top-flight clubs have at least nine matches left to play this season with plenty yet to be decided.
While Liverpool are running away with the title, the relegation battle and the race for the European places are still wide open.
The ongoing issues surrounding coronavirus has meant the Premier League has been put on hold and there are many questions up in the air.
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How long is the Premier League suspended for?
After a meeting between all 20 clubs on Thursday, March 19, it was announced that the Premier League – and indeed all professional football in England – will not resume until April 30 at the earliest.
Manchester City vs Arsenal was the first Premier League fixture to be postponed on Wednesday, March 11. The following weekend’s top-flight matches were subsequently called off and there has been no action since then.
EFL matches, upcoming FA Cup quarter-finals, Champions League and Europa League games and international fixtures have also been pushed back.
Premier League chiefs ‘plan to resume season in May behind closed doors’ due to TV deals
When is the Premier League likely to resume?
As it stands, games are slated to resume on Saturday, May 2 and no kick-off times have been confirmed for that set of fixtures yet.
The situation is clearly evolving day-by-day and it remains to be seen if the league will be able to get back under way on that date.
Euro 2020 has already been rescheduled for next summer to give domestic leagues the chance to get their seasons finished should they run into the summer.
Premier League clubs met via a conference call recently and decided to extend the league calendar ‘indefinitely’ to get the season finished, meaning it could go on until late in the year and delay the start of next season.
Will the Premier League season be voided?
The Premier League’s 20 teams are desperate to complete the current season and avoid it being written off.
A radical plan could be introduced if the campaign is completely curtailed due to coronavirus.
It has been claimed that the league could consider crowning Liverpool as champions with Leeds and West Brom promoted from the Championship.
It would mean the 2019/20 campaign would be shut down for good and we would resume with a 22-team season next term.
The Premier League conference call on Thursday, March 19 seemed to suggest the season will get finished one way or another no matter how long it takes.
But again, this could change as we move forward with the pandemic.
Give COVID-19 the red card
The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…
STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:
- to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
- to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
- for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
- to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.
The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.
What could happen to the Premier League season?
Another option being considered is a World Cup-style camp.
It has been reported that clubs could gather in a neutral location to play out the remainder of the season behind closed doors, with only those personnel essential to staging and broadcasting the games allowed to attend to minimise the chance of a coronavirus infection.
It is understood this is one of many ideas under consideration, with the 20 clubs due to convene again by conference call this week.
The clubs remain committed to completing the season and are keen to avoid facing any financial penalties from broadcasters for failing to fulfil fixtures. It has been reported that if no further matches were played, it could cost clubs £750million.
The idea of clubs gathering in one or two neutral venues, in isolation from the wider world, is likely to be looked at again on Friday along with other scenarios which have been modelled at previous meetings.
There are a number of difficulties with the idea, not least how to deal with the necessity to have medical staff on hand during a public health crisis, and how the format could survive with even one positive Covid-19 test.
But the idea of multiple matches being televised on a daily basis throughout June and July, if the infection curve has flattened by then, could have some merit.
What has the Premier League said?
The Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association have warned that some ‘difficult decisions’ will need to be taken in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The three organisations met on Friday, March 27 to discuss the final impact the suspension of the season, brought on by COVID-19, was having.
“The Premier League, EFL and PFA met today and discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in a joint statement.
“It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organisations continue to be with everyone affected by the virus.
“The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions.”
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