Europe’s best Leagues remain halted as the coronavirus pandemic grips the sporting world and no clear conclusion is in sight yet. Top-flight clubs in English Premier League have a combined 92 matches left to play in the 2019/20 season and there is plenty still to be decided.
April and May are usually the most exciting months for football fans in Europe with leagues across the continent entering their final stretch and crowning their ultimate champions. But this year, the action has frozen because of government-imposed lockdowns following the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
The ongoing issues surrounding coronavirus have meant the Premier League has been put on hold and there are many questions up in the air. While Liverpool is on the verge of clinching the title, the relegation battle and the race for the European places are still wide open.
Europe’s most prestigious competitions, the continent-wide Champions League and Europa League have been halted by UEFA—football’s governing body in Europe—with a total of 40 matches remaining. Major domestic leagues, such as England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, have also been suspended with an average of nine matchdays still left in the season.
The English premier league is desperate to play the remaining games as the cost of canceling it could be up to £1billion, according to chief executive Richard Masters.
The Premier League’s overriding priority is to aid the health and wellbeing of the nation and our communities. The 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 3, 2020
Sky, BT, and overseas rights holders have already paid the Premier League for their full season’s broadcast rights, despite a quarter of the campaign left to play. So scrapping the campaign will mean broadcasters will look to recoup millions.
Premier League is scheduled to resume in mid-June
Finishing the season in a 40-day window was one of the scenarios discussed at a Premier League meeting on Friday.
The only option to complete the season is a World Cup-style camp. It has been suggested that clubs could gather in a neutral location to play out the remainder of the season behind closed doors, with only those personnel essential to staging and broadcasting the games allowed to attend.
At the earliest, the Premier League is scheduled to resume in mid-June even if played entirely behind closed doors.
The contracts of numerous players expire on 30 June. If the season is extended beyond that date there are a possibility clubs will lose players before fixtures are concluded.
The 30 June date is also an issue for clubs around agreed changes in kit manufacturers. Liverpool is due to change shirt manufacturers from New Balance to Nike, while Watford and Newcastle are also set to use new suppliers.