According to a report by John Cross of the Daily Mirror, at least nine Premier League clubs have discussed a joint presentation at Friday’s league summit that would propose a shortened season run-up to finish the campaign by June 30.
The report states that these unnamed clubs are hoping to convince league officials that while the need to conclude the campaign is paramount, extending the season beyond June 30 presents extensive hurdles that could be avoided by instead agreeing to a shortened finish to the season.
While it still remains wholly unclear when play could resume with the coronavirus pandemic still prevalent worldwide, which inhibits planning of any significant extent, a reasonable conclusion to the season could see a champion crowned plus European places and relegation determined while allowing the calendar to get back on track for an August or September start to next campaign. It would also avoid the significant legal hurdles of extending the season beyond June 30 with a vast swath of player contracts set to expire on that date.
Cross’s report makes it clear that the clubs do not wish to be construed as delivering an ultimatum, but instead as kicking off serious discussions about how to proceed with the rest of the season given the need for a swift but decisive conclusion. He notes on Twitter that while rumblings of a return to play in June have been discussed for weeks, no official discussions of any plan have begun and these clubs are hoping to kick off that debate with as concrete a plan as currently possible given the enormous amount of uncertainty still in the air.
Clubs are also hoping to be given the chance to plan for next season, as teams look to make financial projections and sales regarding sponsorship, player wages, transfers, and an eventual return of gate revenue.