We know the Premier League and Championship would, ideally, like to return to action behind closed doors in June and as of today we know that the government has given the proverbial green light to sports returning next month.
As part of a larger roadmap to end the lockdown in the United Kingdom, a return of sport in June would be step two of five on the slow road back to normalcy along with the reopening of some schools, non-essential small business, and public transport.
The earliest date football could return as per the roadmap is June 1st, though it’s unlikely that even in the most optimistic scenario the game would return until closer to the middle of the month, which has previously been the league’s target.
However, any return in the current climate, with the coronavirus appearing far from under control in the country even as the government moves towards ending the lockdown, could prove far more difficult than simply setting a date.
Even if the situation is such that the game can return, there remain unresolved questions over precisely how that happens, with the league’s bottom six sides resisting plans to play out the season at a limited number of neutral grounds.
However, that resistance may decrease now that the Football Association have come out to explicitly state the current season—including a champion, European places, and promotion and relegation—must be determined on “sporting merit.”
Which is to say, either the season gets played out or results based on the results to date are codified using points per game or some other metric—which, one would imagine, will incentivize the current bottom three to agree a restart.