In Brief

Premier League news: Man Utd ‘fully supports’ the collective aim to finish the season

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp pays tribute to healthcare workers

Manchester United have offered their “full support” for the completion of the Premier League, FA Cup and Uefa competitions this season. 

English professional football is currently suspended until at least 30 April because of the coronavirus pandemic and there’s uncertainty on when fixtures will resume after the shutdown. 

The 2019-20 campaign has been extended indefinitely in a bid to complete the schedule and last week football authorities said that the aim is to finish the Premier League season no matter what. 

Man Utd have issued a statement to supporters to confirm the financial arrangements which will be put in place for season ticket holders if remaining games are played behind closed doors or cancelled.

The statement said: “The club fully supports the collective intent to complete the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and the Uefa club competitions. 

“However, if it were decided that games cannot be played, or needed to be played behind closed doors, Manchester United confirms it will offer season ticket holders either a pro-rata rebate against their season tickets for next year, or a pro-rata cash refund based on the number of games still to be played.

“This rebate or a refund will also apply to supporters who have paid in advance for general admission tickets or Matchday VIP packages for the games that could be impacted this season.

“A rebate will also be offered to seasonal Executive Club members. If postponed matches are played as normal, all tickets will remain valid.”

As things stand United are fifth in the Premier League table with 45 points, three behind fourth-placed Chelsea. United’s big rivals Liverpool are 25 points clear at the top.

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3pm kick-offs ‘behind red button’?

The Daily Mirror reports that Premier League broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport are putting together an “emergency coronavirus plan”. 

One of the items being discussed is the possibility of Saturday 3pm fixtures being put “behind the red button” for existing subscribers if games are forced to be played behind closed doors. 

The Mirror said: “Sky Sports and BT Sport could do it to help prevent supporters turning up en masse at stadiums to try and watch their games even if they are locked out. 

“That is the nightmare scenario for clubs and police and emergency services because fans will be desperate to watch the games - and showing them live on TV would ease the problem.”

Klopp’s praise for healthcare workers

Last night millions of people came together to “clap for our carers” and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was one of the many sporting figures to also praise the NHS staff and key workers on the frontline. 

Klopp said: “Myself, the staff and all the players of LFC would like to take this opportunity to deliver a message to say thank you to all the incredible people who work in the health services and all the health workers out there.

“It’s unbelievable what you are doing and on behalf on all of us from LFC, I would like to say thank you, or how we would say in Germany - vielen dank.”

Arsenal signed German defender Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia in 2016

Warren Little/Getty Images

Mustafi has ‘question marks’ over future

Shkodran Mustafi’s Arsenal career remains in doubt after the German defender admitted there are “question marks” over his future at the north London club.  

The 27-year-old’s contract expires in June 2021 and he told Sky in Germany: “I’ve played more regularly under [head coach] Mikel Arteta, also in the Premier League. That has really helped me. I feel very good. I understand his style of football, how he likes to play, that really fits me. 

“The way he is at his age, that has really surprised me, I don’t know if after four years, I could be that serious and have a charisma like his to lead a team.

“He is managing that very well. I feel that in this short amount of time I already learned some new things that help my game. 

“I can imagine continuing to play for him. But we still don’t know about the future. There are still many question marks.”

Today’s back pages

Non-league clubs threaten legal action against The FA

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