Coronavirus: Premier League set to push to complete the season


All Premier League matches have been postponed until 3 April at the earliest

The Premier League is expected to reiterate its commitment to completing the season in Thursday’s emergency board meeting held via conference call.

All games have been postponed until at least 4 April because of coronavirus.

But with the pandemic set to continue much longer than that, the league is expected to acknowledge there will be no action for several weeks after that.

Thepostponement of Euro 2020has opened up a window for domestic leagues to be completed by the end of June.

But clubs are unlikely to put a definitive date on when they hope to resume the season, given the UK government haseffectively banned sports eventsby advising against mass gatherings.

It is understood that if those restrictions on mass gatherings are not lifted, officials are open to the idea of staging matches behind closed doors in order to complete fixtures.

But no major decisions are anticipated at this stage if the season cannot resume, with one insider describing it as an “information-sharing and clarity meeting. Nothing concrete will come out of it.”

There have been signs that the clubs are split on the issue of how the season should end.

Last week, West Ham vice-chair Karren Bradysaid the campaign should be declared null and void.

Football Association chairman Greg Clarke also expressed his concern that it may prove impossible for the season to be concluded.

However Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barbertold the BBC that it would be “unjust”if runaway leaders Liverpool were denied the title, and suggested increasing the league to 22 teams for 2020-21.

Club representatives will be shown expert modelling of various end-of-season scenarios at Thursday’s meeting, and what the possible financial and legal ramifications of each would be.

But for now at least, there seems to be a determination to do everything possible to push for the season to be completed.

The Premier League held talks with the FA and the English Football League on Wednesday, and is known to be in dialogue with its broadcast partners and sponsors amid the threat of legal action on a number of fronts.

Sky and BT have declined to comment on reports that they could seek compensation totalling £750m if the Premier League breaches its £3bn domestic live television contract by not completing its fixtures.

Meanwhile, top clubs in the Championship are said to be ready to launch a legal bid if the season is abandoned and they are denied the opportunity of promotion.

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