Premier League clubs given new deadline to start 2020-21 season

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: A General view of the London Stadium, home of West Ham United as all Premier League matches are postponed until at least April 4th due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic on March 14, 2020 in London, England. It has been announced that all football league matches, including the Premier League and Women’s Super League, have been postponed until at least April 4 in response to the threat of coronavirus. This follows UEFA's decision to suspend fixtures in the Champion's League and the Europa League, as many top flight players enter self-isolation. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
No Premier League football has been played since early March (Picture: Getty Images)

Premier League clubs have reportedly been informed that the 2020-21 season must start by the first week of September at the latest, despite delays to the current campaign over the coronavirus.

COVID-19 has put a stop to all action for the foreseeable future, with no proposed return date due to concerns over the safety of players and fans.

In a meeting between top-flight clubs on Friday, English sides reiterated their desire to complete the current season and are mulling over scheduling plans.

Clubs are still hopeful of a restart in the week beginning June 8, but that will depend on Government guidelines, making it almost impossible to plan ahead of time.

According to the Telegraph, the new September start date for the next season has put huge pressure on clubs to wrap up the 2020-21 campaign quickly.

That date effectively means games would need to resume by July in order to play out the remaining 92 fixtures of this season in time.

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The Premier League has insisted the current season will be completed
The Premier League has insisted the current season will be completed (Visionhaus)

A Premier League statement on Friday morning read: ‘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 it safe to do so and with the full support of the government.

‘The health and well-being 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 PL, our clubs and players have provided vital support for communities and the NHS and will continue to do so after matches recommence.’

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