In Depth

Premier League will aim to complete season by 30 June

Top-flight bosses to pencil in the start of May as a resumption date for fixtures

Representatives of the 20 Premier League clubs will share a conference call today to discuss how to proceed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It’s expected that the clubs will agree to try and complete the season by 30 June, in line with other European domestic leagues which, like the Premier League, have gone into temporary lockdown.

Uefa’s decision earlier this week to postpone this summer’s European Championship until 2021 has made it possible for domestic leagues to reschedule their competitions, and there is a growing determination among Premier League clubs to complete the season.

According to The Guardian the decision last week to suspend all football in England until 3 April “prompted an immediate feeling among clubs that the season will not be finished”.

Since then, however, and tapping into the determination shown by the likes of Serie A in Italy, there is a mounting resolve to finish the campaign. 

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Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino celebrates his goal against Wolves in the Premier League

Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Reds on the brink

Sixteen of the Premier League clubs have nine games remaining, and no club is more anxious to complete the season than Liverpool, who could clinch their first league title in 30 years with just two more victories.

The Guardian says that Premier League sources have told them that when the decision was taken last week to suspend the competition, “the clubs did not discuss the thorny question of how to decide finishing places if the season is not completed”. 

That encouraged speculation - exploited by a newspaper column by West Ham’s vice-chairman Karren Brady - that the season should be considered null and void. 

But having recovered from the gravity of the situation the clubs are more bullish about the chances of completing the season, particularly as they have until the end of June.

May day

The Premier League’s football department has been testing scenarios for scheduling games once it is deemed safe to resume sport.

It’s expected that today’s meeting will push back the 3 April deadline until the end of the month, and pencil in the start of May as a resumption date for all fixtures, allowing the Premier League and the FA Cup to be played in May and June.

Also on the agenda at today’s video conference will be the looming financial crisis for the lower leagues.

While the Premier League’s TV and commercial deals will cushion them from adverse effects, the same does not apply for the English Football League (EFL).

The EFL is said to be in discussions with Sky and BT Sport about ways to help them survive the unprecedented crisis.

Today’s back pages

Football unites against virus as Gary Neville and Roman Abramovich hand hotels over to NHS staff

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