The Premier League wants to finish the 2019-20 season in July, according to a new exclusive report in Football.London. According to the report, heads of the three governing bodies of English football met on Saturday via a conference call and hammered out a tentative plan to resume the Premier League season beginning in July, and finishing the nine remaining matches over a period of 4-6 weeks. The matches will take place behind closed doors, with minimal personnel in attendance.
Football is currently postponed through April 13, but there is the expectation that there will be further delays due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hence, July was seen as a viable date to restart matches, with the hope that the pandemic will have died down or at least peaked before then. This plan may also include nixing cup replays, or even abandoning the League Cup and EFL Trophy for the 2020-21 season in order to reduce the number of matches for clubs in the top four divisions.
There are, naturally, still plenty of questions surrounding this plan. For starters, it’s hardly an ideal way to restart the season — the players will by that point had at least three months off from any matches, and will be expected to play nine games in six weeks or less with minimal training or fitness. Presumably the end of the 2019-20 season would blend immediately into the start of the 2020-21 season as well.
There are also questions about the summer transfer window — will it be pushed back? Will it overlap with the season ending, and if so will newly signed players be able to play for their clubs at the end of the 2019 season?
And finally, what about the safety of the players participating? Will they need to be placed under quarantine as the matches take place, and what impact will that have on the players and their families?
There aren’t answers to any of these, of course, and the nature of the questions probably means there will be lawsuits filed regardless of what happens. However, it does seem pretty clear that the Premier League and EFL are still committed to the idea of finishing the season — and crowning Liverpool champions — no matter how long it takes.