On Friday 17th April, the Premier League (“PL”) discussed the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic and, among other items, how it will affect the timeline for a possible resumption of the 2019/20 season.
Reports are suggesting a restart on 8th June as a ‘best-case scenario’, following the UK Government’s announcement on Thursday (16th April) that ‘lockdown’ measures would be extended for at least an additional three weeks (in accordance with the review required as part of the recently enacted Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020).
The English Football League (“EFL”) faces a similar outcome and so it means there is an increasing inevitability that the end-date for these competitions (if resumed) will be after 30th June. This is beyond the expiry date of numerous player contracts, which is a well-documented 'sticking point' for both PL and EFL clubs.
These clubs will be hoping for English football's governing bodies (as a collective) to provide additional guidance, financial solutions and collective agreements that help clubs to broker short-term contract extensions with players and also methods to help clubs sustain themselves during these uncertain times.
For a more detailed discussion, please see here.
A Premier League spokesperson said: “Today’s Shareholders’ Meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of Covid-19 develops.”