In Brief

Premier League in peril: abandon season and take ‘seismic’ financial hit?

Sports lawyer says it’s ‘almost inevitable’ the season will be cancelled if games don’t begin again in April

The Daily Mail claims that a “growing number of Premier League clubs are ready to abandon this season” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The paper says that executives from all 20 clubs will hold talks via a conference call on Thursday to discuss the situation. 

English football has been suspended until 3 April and although that ban could be extended, there is also the possibility the season could be scrapped altogether. 

“The financial and legal implications of such a step would be seismic,” reports the Mail.

“But many clubs feel they may have no option after receiving guidance that restrictions on crowds could be in place until the end of July.

“The Premier League, EFL and FA have held talks about staging games behind closed doors to finish the season and honour broadcasting contracts, but given the rapid spread of the virus over the past week, many clubs are questioning whether such a measure is possible or desirable.” 

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Devastating for clubs

A leading sports lawyer has said it’s “almost inevitable” that the Premier League season will be cancelled if games don’t begin again in April, the Daily Mirror reports, and the knock-on effect for clubs such as Liverpool, Leeds and West Brom would be huge. 

Liverpool are currently 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table and are on course for their first league title in 30 years. In the Championship Leeds and West Brom hold the two promotion spots. 

Sports lawyer Richard Cramer predicts that the impact of coronavirus on football in the UK will be like that of the two World Wars.

He told Sky Sports News: “If they get the games going by the beginning of April, I think we should be all right.

“But if we go through to May or June, it’s almost inevitable - it’s almost the equivalent of what happened in the world wars - that the season just has to be cancelled and they start all over again. 

“It’s obviously devastating for the likes of Leeds United and West Brom. Those clubs are on the verge of promotion. Also Liverpool, obviously. 

“It’s not a great thought, but they will have to abide by what the majority say and what decision is eventually made by the board of directors.”

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