Baying for the return of football in any capacity, realistic targets need to be set. As seen in Spain and Italy, initial plans were put in place for football to return but have since been wiped, with both La Liga and Serie A now on hold indefinitely.
In England, an April 30 return has been scheduled for when the Premier League will come back, but with each passing day it seems less and less likely those targets will be hit as the coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on any strategies put in place.
Almost daily we’re fed new scenarios about how the season could be completed – or indeed voided – as differing proposals are made.
Here we round up the latest developments.
Premier League Clubs Rule Out Finishing Season in China
According to The Athletic, the idea of playing out the Premier League abroad was floated by one club’s hierarchy. Needless to say, it was shot down immediately, but the fact that playing the English top flight in China shows that desperation is kicking in.
The Premier League looks set to lose £762m in broadcasting revenue if they are unable to complete the season, therefore, the idea of playing games outside of the country has been mooted as an option. Coronavirus began in China, but the rate of infections in the country as slowed drastically and it was considered as one of the options.
However, it is expected to be shot down unanimously with the majority expressing their lack of approval already.
Clarity Sought in Date for Premier League Return
While there remains a date at present, the April 30 return looks set to be wiped later on Friday. Twice already we’ve seen the league postponed, but these dates are now being classed merely as a means to buy time while Premier League officials scramble together an idea.
As per the Independent, the competition’s chiefs are now seeking clarity on return dates, with fixed times set for when football can feasibly return. That will allow clubs the chance to prepare their squads accordingly, and the notion of voiding the 2019/20 season can be well and truly discarded.
A video conference meeting is due to take place on Friday, where a return date will be discussed. However, while many are eyeing fixed dates, others disagree, as other Premier League officials feel the next two weeks are inappropriate times to discuss such measures. That is due to the UK being on course to experience its worse fortnight of the coronavirus crisis thus far.
Widespread Aim to Resume Seasons & Discount Voiding
In a joint letter from the bosses of the European Club Association, European Leagues & UEFA to Europe’s FAs, leagues & clubs tonight, they restate aim to finish the domestic seasons, most likely in July & August, & then complete Euro comps. pic.twitter.com/98lf6JHz0g
— Matt Slater (@mjshrimper) April 2, 2020
With fears growing that the current campaigns could be cancelled and deemed null and void, a joint letter (via Matt Slater) from
What Will be Discussed During Friday Meeting
UEFA are seeking to complete the Champions League, Europa League and domestic leagues by August with a few different ideas on how floating about. 樂 https://t.co/NBtBQZQtez
— 90min (@90min_Football) April 2, 2020
As revealed by the BBC, the aforementioned meeting is due to take place on Friday, with the PFA expected to release a statement later on that evening. While working on a return date is high on the list of priorities, a plethora of talking points will be discussed with so much yet to be finalised – including the above letter.
One of the points of discussion will be the ongoing drama surrounding player wages. Daniel Levy drew criticism after announcing that Tottenham’s non-playing staff would have 20% of their wages cut, meanwhile the playing squad’s wages, at present, remain unaffected.