The FA have announced that they will be further suspending elite football in the United Kingdom until April 30th. Meanwhile, the Premier League have further committed to ending the season as they extend the 2019/20 Premier League campaign “indefinitely”.
Full FA Statement
“The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
“We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.
“We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.
“The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.
“However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football. Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April.
“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.
“We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.
“We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.”
FA and Premier League right to extend delay
There has been a lot of talk surrounding how to go about concluding the 2019/20 Premier League season, with a termination deadline set for the end of June. Now, the Premier League have extended that termination deadline, further committing themselves to ending the season properly.
Some people have even suggested that the Premier League declare the season null and void, starting again from zero in August – for me, that’s probably the worst possible resolution.
The Premier League and Football Association have committed themselves to finishing the season, no matter how long it takes, and that is the only way it can be done.
It’ll be tough to negotiate with players running out of contract at the end of June, but if there is a genuine will to end the season then all of the relevant governing bodies will have to come together to work something out.
As for the football on the pitch, there has been a lot said about the title race. Liverpool are 25 points clear – we can’t just award them the title, regardless of how small the chances are, there is still a chance they could blow their lead, so it can’t be done.
You also can’t just wipe the slate clean and pretend this season never happened for the same reason. Liverpool will likely become the Champions, and they should be given their chance to finish the season and either win or lose the title.
It just wouldn’t work to call off the season now. Essentially, it’d mean a reprieve for those teams at the bottom in the relegation zones and it would be almost a punishment for the teams at the top of the league(s). The only way we can go about this is to finish the league properly – no matter how long it takes.
For more like this check out our dedicated football page which you can find by clicking right here. Meanwhile, for more updates on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting the world of sport, drop us a follow on Twitter.