Fredie Fredd
by on April 17, 2020

Clubs shown models for games restarting and being played in June, July and August.

Premier League clubs remain united in their desire to finish the season, but the controversial proposal of completing the campaign by June 30 was not raised in Friday's meeting.

All top-flight clubs were represented on the video call in which the primary topic of conversation was a debate over models for completing the season.

Clubs were shown different models for games restarting and being played in June, July and August, but the Premier League reiterated that the season will not resume until the Government declares it is safe to do so.

Issues surrounding medical protocols at any future games were also discussed, with all players, coaches and match officials needing to be tested before games could be played behind closed doors.

No representative in attendance raised the idea of finishing the season by June 30 and the issues of pay cuts and transfer windows were also not debated.

A Premier League spokesperson said: "We are acutely aware of the distress COVID-19 is causing and our thoughts are with all those directly affected by the pandemic.

"In common with other businesses and industries, the Premier League and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios. We are actively engaging with stakeholders, including broadcast partners, and our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so and with the full support of the Government.

"The health and wellbeing of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters are our priority and the League will only restart when medical guidance allows.

"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.

"In response to the pandemic, the Premier League, our clubs and players have provided vital support for communities and the NHS and will continue to do so after matches recommence."

Before the meeting had concluded, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher told The Football Show that hard decisions would need to be taken soon - and warned that "something will have to give'" when a resumption is agreed.

"There have been a lot of 'semi-decisions' to buy time but I think very soon we'll have to make decisions on this season and next season," said Carragher.

"Something's got to give at some stage - maybe a competition this season or next has to be taken out of the calendar to allow space because next season may be a tighter timeframe. Right now, no one has given up anything but eventually we'll need to make decisions and someone will lose out on something."

Carra backs CL 'tournament' idea

UEFA is considering proposals which would see the Champions League final being played on August 29, three months later than originally scheduled.

The Champions League final was due to take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on May 30 but, under one of the new proposals which UEFA will discuss next week, the final would be moved to Saturday, August 29 at the same venue.

Carragher has backed the idea of an alternative tournament format in August to complete European competition.

"I said something will probably have to give and I've said previously that cup competitions would be more at risk than leagues because when leagues finish obviously impacts on next season," he said.

"I don't think there's any way you can have Champions League games in the middle of leagues starting up in Europe because games will be so spaced together to try and get the season done - over three or four weeks - that it feels like European competition will have to have its own situation.

"With the season moving on a month or two, everything will get pushed back, so when they talk about August, that wouldn't be the start of next season. August would instead feel like the summer in football terms or the end of the season when you might have a tournament. I think that would be a good idea.

"But the longer this goes on and things get pushed back, something has to give. The Euros is next summer we know so you almost have to work back from that.

"Is it the FA Cup or Carabao Cup next season that gets pushed out, and you move the Champions League (conclusion) to August and start next season in September or October? I think the Champions League will be really difficult to fit in in a normal format so a tournament could work really well."


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