The Premier League is aiming to restart the 2019-20 season in June, according to reports.
An emergency meeting between various football authorities on Thursday led to an announcement that the campaign would not resume until 30 April at the earliest, having previously been put on hold until 4 April.
However, there is widespread acknowledgment within the game that the delay may be longer as the coronavirus crisis continues to escalate throughout Europe.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Premier League is working on a plan that would see the season restart on 1 June.
The powers that be hope to stage all remaining matches within six weeks, which would coincide with the time the European Championship was scheduled to finish.
Uefa announced on Tuesday that the tournament has been pushed back to summer 2021 to allow domestic leagues to try to complete their campaigns.
The Premier League plans to stage games behind closed doors, with supporters almost certain to be banned from attending in accordance with government guidelines.
This timetable would satisfy domestic and international broadcasters, including Sky Sports and BT Sport, who have paid huge sums for the rights to show the Premier League.
And it would also allow the 2020-21 campaign to start in August as planned, thereby avoiding huge disruption to the football calendar.
There is also the issue of players’ contracts expiring on 30 June, with several Premier League and Football League clubs affected.
However, Fifa has already announced that it will consider ways to extend the registration period to avoid teams losing key men before the season has been completed.
The Premier League is aware that their plan could be scuppered if the coronavirus pandemic is not contained.
This is therefore a provisional, tenative proposal which will heavily depend on circumstances beyond the league’s control.
You may also like