Top flight continues to support ending 2019/20 season

          Premier League to explore Covid-19 contingencies

          2020/03/19 08:55
          By Stephen Gillett

          The Premier League is set to hold an emergency board meeting on Thursday to discuss potential contingency plans after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

          All top flight games are presently postponed until at least 4 April as a result of the pandemic, but the division's top brass are reportedly committed to completing the current 2019/20 season at this stage and are expected to make a statement to that effect today.

          However, with Europe in lockdown and UK schools now set to close on Friday, there is a tacit acknowledgement that football is in unchartered territory and that, with the government advising against mass gatherings, even the most optimistic projections suggest late April is the earliest that games could re-commence.

          One factor in the Premier League's favour is the recent postponement of Euro 2020, which has opened up a window for domestic leagues to be completed in the summer. 

          No major decisions are expected to be taken at Thursday's meeting, which is reportedly focused on information-sharing and clarification.

          Potential disputes

          Several Premier League clubs appear split on the issue of whether the current season should be written off or not. 

          Last week, West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady stated that the 2019/20 campaign should be declared null and void, while FA chairman Greg Clarke also raised his concerns that the season may prove impossible to fulfil.

          Others, however, including Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber have publicly stated that the campaign needs to reach its conclusion and have suggested increasing the league to 22 teams for 2020-21.

          Expert modelling of various end-of-season scenarios will be relayed to club representatives at Thursday's meeting, which will also look to explore the financial and legal ramifications of each course of action. 


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