COVID-19: Premier League committed to finishing 92 remaining games

Premier League clubs are committed to finishing the 92 remaining games in the 2019/20 Premier League season but have not yet discussed a deadline for when they must recommence.

In their meeting, the Premier League clubs were expected to discuss the potential cut off point for the season to get back underway, but instead focused on a possible “scheduling model”.

The Premier League say it remains their “objective” to finish the season but “all dates are tentative”.

The league has been suspended since March 13 as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis and a date for resumption still feels a long way off.

While some clubs had expected to discuss a possible cut off date of June 30 today, the Premier League decided now is not the time for that conversation.

“In common with other businesses and industries, the Premier League and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios,” the Premier League said.

“We are actively engaging with stakeholders, including broadcast partners, and our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so and with the full support of the government.

“The health and wellbeing of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters are our priority and the League will only restart when medical guidance allows.

“Today’s shareholders’ meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of COVID-19 develops.”

The date of June 30 is significant to Premier League clubs for a number of reasons, most of which are financially motivated – but there is an on-field issue too.

When the month of July rolls around, there are many a Premier League footballer who are due to be out of contract.

While the advice from FIFA has been to extend contracts until the season is over, British contract law makes that very difficult and effectively allows players out of contract to stand themselves down once July 1 arrives.

As well as that, there are some clubs who have contracts expiring with their kit manufacturers – another thorny issue that will no doubt be giving Premier League chief executives nightmares.

All-in-all, it’s a very complicated situation and to be honest it’s one I don’t see them finding a solution to any time soon.

As time goes by, it feels more and more likely the season will simply be declared null and void – much to the frustration of some fans, and the delight of many others.

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