We could have a better idea today of when the Premier League season will resume and finish, with a report the powers that be are aiming for a July conclusion to the 2019-20 season to avoid having to answer questions—or face legal ramifications—over which teams are relegated, promoted, and qualify for European competition.
The report from Football London claims that a conference call between the FA, Premier League, and the English Football League took place on Saturday and that everyone involved was in agreement that the best course of action would involve finishing this season over four to six weeks in the summer.
With news that there will be no Premier League matches until at least May 1st, the season will almost certainly need to be extended should the governing bodies want to complete this season. The report also adds that matches will almost certainly happen behind closed doors. The UK is currently on lockdown until April 13th, but that could be extended. It’s still incredibly optimistic that groups of thousands of people can gather by July, but who knows!
So far this seems like the best option of a whole host of options put forward. Finishing the season with actual games, whenever that may be, would be the best step to remove any asterisks from the season that will already go into the history books. But finishing the season should not come at the risk of the public’s health.
It’s still unclear what would happen in terms of player contracts. For instance, Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana has a contract that expires at the end of June. Other players are on loan at other clubs. Some clubs have transfers in place, such as Chelsea with Hakim Ziyech. FIFA would surely need to step in to offer some sort of clarity in these situations.
But, at the very least, it appears that the governing bodies of the English leagues and competitions are doing their due diligence to figure out a way to finish the season in the face of COVID-19.