Possible dates to end the domestic league seasons in Europe, including the Premier League, have been revealed following UEFA’s videoconference meeting on Thursday, as they discussed their options to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]
UEFA postponed EURO 2020 and agreed to rearrange it for the summer of 2021. The main reason they’ve moved their flagship tournament so that domestic leagues can finish their season and finishing league campaigns is UEFA’s priority.
The plan is for all European domestic leagues to be finished by June 30, as European club association have agreed to try and play all of their domestic games (league and cup) and European club competitions (Champions League and Europa League) by that date, which effectively extends the season by one month.
Following UEFA’s meeting, the Football Association of Ireland initially revealed two possible dates, June 21 to June 28, as to when UEFA want the 2019-20 domestic club seasons to be finished by.
UEFA then released a statement saying the following:
“The resolution features a commitment to complete all domestic and European club competitions by the end of the current sporting season, i.e. 30 June 2020 at the latest, should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough. There could be adaptations of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds in case of late completion of the 2019/20 sporting season, i.e. after 30 June 2020. A working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues and clubs will be immediately established to examine relevant calendar matters and devise solutions allowing for the resumption and/or conclusion of the current season in a coherent manner.”
UEFA also confirmed that this new date could also “result in the scheduling of domestic league matches in mid-week and scheduling of UEFA club competitions matches on weekends” and that the Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds for 2020-21 will be impacted should the season finish after June 30.
If we take the June 30 date, that would mean extending the current Premier League season six weeks longer than it is currently scheduled to end on May 17.
Given the Premier League isn’t due to start until April 4 at the earliest, if that is the case it would give the PL 13 weeks to play the final nine matchweeks of the season. So there is obviously time built in for leagues around Europe to be delayed until late April and these dates mean the Premier League season could be finished.
Again, this date could change and we will know a lot more about the Premier League’s plan after they hold an emergency club meeting on Thursday. There is no decision expected from PL clubs when they meet on Thursday but they will instead gauge the consensus about the best direction to head in and more meetings will be planned for next week to try and take the next step in planning how the 2019-20 season can be completed.
There is a plan in place across Europe but given it is now the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, things have been, and will continue to, change very quickly.