In Brief

Today’s back pages: Premier League to be given season deadline ‘ultimatum’ from clubs

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 16 April

Premier League deadline

“Endgame” is the headline on the back page of Metro, a reference to the complex situation facing the English Premier League. 

The paper says that the 20 clubs are planning to give the League an “ultimatum” tomorrow when they hold a video conference: either declare the 2019-20 season null and void, or finish it by 30 June. 

“Deadline or bedlam” is the stark headline in the Daily Express, while the Daily Mail simply says “ultimatum”. 

Explaining that the clubs face a “legal minefield” if the Premier League season were to extend into July, the Mail says that dozens of players will be out of contract after 30 June and clubs face the prospect of playing matches with a depleted squad.

Is time running out to finish the Premier League season?

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Froome over the moon at Tour dates

The Guardian and the Daily Express both report on the decision to reschedule the Tour de France. Cycling’s blue riband race will now start in Nice on 29 August and finish in Paris on 20 September. 

The move, says the Guardian, “will involve a delicate juggling act” with the other two Grand Tours and the world road championships, but Le Tour is the sport’s cash cow for teams and riders and there is a determination to stage the event come what may. 

The Express pictures four-time champion Chris Froome on its back page, and reports his comments on Twitter in response to the rescheduling. 

“The news many of us have been waiting for,” said the British rider. “Some light at the end of the tunnel – assuming all goes well.”

Less enthused with the news that the Tour de France will be staged in September, reports The Daily Telegraph, are the organisers of the Tour of Britain. 

That event is scheduled to start on 6 September and end a week later, and race organiser Hugh Roberts admitted it would “not be easy” competing for attention with the Tour de France.

Farrell defers wages

The news that England rugby union captain Owen Farrell has agreed to a 90% wage deferral makes many back pages. 

The Times reports that the Saracens fly-half, who reputedly earns £750,000 a year from the Premiership club, will pocket “around £31,000 between now and September - just over a third of which will be paid by the government - instead of £310,000, an initial sacrifice in the region of £280,000”. 

The Daily Telegraph says that Farrell isn’t the only Saracens player who will take a financial hit in the coming months, with the London club asking all players who earn more than £75,000 to defer payment of their salaries above that amount until the start of the 2020-21 season.

Today’s sport headlines

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