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Premier League

Plan to finish Premier League by July, Champions League by August

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 07: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on March 07, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images )

Image credit: Getty Images

ByAlexander Netherton
18/04/2020 at 09:00 | Updated 18/04/2020 at 09:23

The Premier League could restart in the middle of June, with UEFA aiming to complete domestic seasons by the end of July in order to give August over to the Champions and Europa Leagues.

A two-hour conference call on Friday for Premier League and club representatives discussed the letter spelling out UEFA’s wishes as they attempted to find a way through the pandemic obstacles.

Some clubs are keen to complete the league by June 30 in order to meet contractual and sponsorship obligations. The FA Cup will also be completed if the best case scenario can be carried out.

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Amid some opposition to the idea of completing the season, the Sun quoted a chief executive as reflecting the views of the Big Six (Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs):

"Our aim is to finish this season and protect the start of next season.

"Everybody should get on board and those who don’t, or who are suggesting other things, are being totally disingenuous and unbelievable."

It is assumed that any matches will take place behind closed doors, though nothing will be given the green light unless the National Health Service’s capacity won’t be compromised. That means the NHS and government will be given the final say over any competition restarting in Britain.

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Another pre-season will be required to get players up to match fitness, which would have to start in mid-May, and additional protection measures will be put in place. Seven weeks should be sufficient for the clubs to play out their remaining nine or 10 matches.

A Premier League spokesman said:

It is our objective to complete the 2019-20 season but all dates are tentative while the impact of Covid-19 develops.

Other protocols could be introduced. Players may be forced into a quarantine during the period of the competition to prevent spreading the virus or being affected themselves. They could be asked to turn up to training already in their kits in order to eliminate crowded dressing rooms, and also could be tested in their cars before training.

Any staff attending matches would be tested for the virus, and crowds would be prevented from forming outside match locations.

While the Premier League would aim to be completed by the end of July, that would see August 3 being the start of cross-association European competitions. August 29 has been pencilled in as the date for the Champions League final.

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