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‘Season will be lost’ if it doesn’t resume by July

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The president of UEFA has warned the current season will be ‘lost’ if it doesn’t resume by July as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across Europe and the world.

Aleksander Ceferin has been talking about the scenarios for when the domestic and European competitions can resume and it is clear there is a small window of opportunity for each league in Europe to complete their 2019-20 campaigns.

Speaking to Italian outlet La Repubblica, Ceferin confirmed that he has a few plans in mind but with many leagues seasons expected to resume later in the summer, if at all, time is running out before the attention must switch to 2020-21.

“Nobody knows when the pandemic will end. We have a plan A, B or C: to restart in mid-May, in June or at the end of June. If then we wouldn’t be able to do any of these, the season would probably be lost,” Ceferin said. “There is also the possibility of ending this season at the start of the next, which would then be postponed, starting a little later. We’re in touch with the leagues, the clubs, there is a working group and we’ll see what solution is best for all. We have to wait, like any other sector.”

Right now, the situation which would see the end of this season resuming at the start of next season seems the most likely.

A report has already stated that the 2019-20 Premier League season could resume at the start of July and the final nine games of the season would be played out across 4-6 weeks and act as a preseason for the 2020-21 campaign.

The main issue to sort out is player contracts as many are contracted until July 1 before becoming free agents. What happens to those players? Will players sign short-term contracts? What about loan deals? FIFA and UEFA will no doubt have to sort out all of those finer details but that is all secondary.

Right now the main thing on the mind of leagues across the world is when, if ever, they can finish the 2019-20 seasons. It is looking increasingly likely that there will be just a short period of time to get the season finished but if just one player or coach tests positive for coronavirus during that period, the whole league would have to shut down again.

Report: Premier League games to be played starting in July

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The remaining games of the 2019-20 Premier League season could be played starting in July for four to six weeks.

A report from Football.London claims that the Premier League clubs had a phone call on Saturday with the English FA and Football League and a loose agreement is in place to play all games from July behind-closed-doors, if the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t deteriorate further in the UK.

Per the report “a conference call between the three governing bodies and the government on Saturday, the plan was reached to complete the season in July, with games to take place behind closed doors over a period of four to six weeks unless the situation worsens in the UK.”

Currently the Premier League and Football League seasons are suspended until April 30 and it is expected that that date will be pushed back further amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League have stated the 2019-20 campaign has been ‘extended indefinitely’ but many concerned parties are now wondering how this will impact the 2020-21 season. The PL is set to meet again on Friday to discuss new potential dates moving forward and how player contracts which run out on July 1 will be handled.

With Liverpool on the verge of winning their first league title in 30 years, plus the Champions League qualification and relegation spots still to be determined, there is a huge appetite from everyone connected with the Premier League to play out the rest of the current season, whenever that will be.

Having games played in empty stadiums isn’t ideal but it seems like a return to having games in front of full stadiums is a long way off in Europe and elsewhere. Getting the final nine games played as quickly as possible has to be the aim and this scenario would actually make sense.

Premier League players could relax in the coming weeks as the worst of the pandemic hits, then they could start a mini preseason in mid-May and start games in July. Squeezing the end of the 2019-20 season into the end of July would be just like having preseason games, then there could be a quick break before the 2020-21 season started.

Apparently there are plans in place to scrap the FA Cup replays and potentially the League Cup in 2020-21 to create some extra time for the start of the league season to be delayed.

All of this is currently hearsay but this proposal seems like the most logical yet with the end of the 2019-20 season essentially acting like a preseason for 2020-21.

Latest PL update following meeting with EFL, PFA

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The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’s Association released a joint-statement following a meeting between the three sides held on Friday.

[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup | Thursday | Wednesday ]

Notably, it was revealed that the four leagues in question — the PL and three Football League competitions — will not resume until April 30 at the earliest. The goal of the meeting was to “mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England” and set in place a plan for how the leagues, which feed clubs to one another through promotion and relegation, can remain in lockstep as they transition from one season to the next.

The full statement can be read below:

The Premier League, EFL and PFA met today and discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organizations continue to be with everyone affected by the virus.

The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions.

The leagues will not recommence until April 30 at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow.

Further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans.

What we love about Liverpool

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be detailing what we love about each Premier League club competing in the 2019-20 season and next up it is Liverpool.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release details on why who adore each team in particular as we remind ourselves just how awesome the PL is as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Time to focus on the Reds.


The Anfield Roar: Throughout our series detailing why we love each Premier League club, we will undoubtedly talk about the great atmosphere at their home stadium because that is one of the main reasons the PL is revered around the world. But Liverpool’s home atmosphere at Anfield is on another level. It is perhaps unrivalled on the planet. Under the lights Anfield on a big European or Premier League night, the Kop comes alive and the ferocious chanting and passion spills down from the Liverpool faithful. The Anfield Roar has always been famous but it has regained its gusto in recent seasons since Jurgen Klopp‘s arrival and he often whips the crowd into a frenzy with his constant gesticulating for them to raise the noise levels. Anfield always delivers and that is why it should be on your bucket list. The fact Liverpool haven’t lost a home Premier League game since April 2017 says it all. Anfield is a fortress and the famous roar has been restored. Many teams are beaten before the game even kicks off as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is belted out with scarves held high and the roar arrives. It is a sight and sound to behold.

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Jurgen Klopp and heavy metal football: Since he arrived in 2015 Liverpool have come alive and they’ve won the UEFA Champions League, come so close to winning the Premier League title and are on the verge of lifting their first league title in 30 years as they currently sit 25 points clear even though the 2019-20 season is suspended. Klopp has pulled everything together. He has an incredible knack of knowing the right thing to say at the right time, the right way to act in front of the TV cameras and fans and he has created a family among his players and staff. The German coach has done so much to galvanize Liverpool off the pitch with his personality but on it has been his biggest achievement. His personality is extremely likeable and the way he celebrates every goal, corner kick, throw in and tackle fuels the energy behind Liverpool’s high-pressing. His gegenpressing style has taken years to fine tune at Liverpool but his current squad have it down to a tee and his famed heavy metal football is revered around the world. Direct play, high-intensity pressing and incredible work rate is key to his style working and the fans are totally on board. He currently has a better win percentage (61.3 percent) than any manager in their history which showcases his amazing consistency whilst being handed the funds by American owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) to cleverly assemble this team. Klopp will go down as one of the greatest managers the club has ever seen in their incredible history. His smile is a close second.

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An incredible history: Six UEFA Champions League titles. 18 league titles. Seven FA Cups. Eight League Cups. Three UEFA Leagues. Three UEFA Super Cups. One Club World Cup. The list goes on and on. From Bill Shankly to Bob Paisely and Joe Fagan, Liverpool have dominated English and European soccer for decades at a time and their proud history puts them up their with the greatest teams the world has ever seen. Their incredible history is celebrated each and every day by their fans who laud past teams, legendary players and managers and the Song which became famous over the last few seasons details their dominance perfectly. Allez, Allez, Allez, indeed.

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Giving us so many greats, decade after decade: One thing that Liverpool has always delivered as well as trophies is legendary players and managers. We’ve already mentioned Shankly, Paisley, Fagan and now Klopp as managers who have shaped the game but on the pitch the likes of Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan, Graeme Souness, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and now Mohamed Salah have become global superstars thanks to their heroics on the pitch in the famous red shirt. Liverpool is a club synonymous with success and having the greatest players in history represent them. Liverpool fans treat their legendary players as god-like figures and the vast majority truly belong in soccer’s pantheon.

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Premier League TV schedule: March 28-29

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We have 16 hours of Premier League programming coming your way this weekend and here is your TV schedule for March 28-29.

This Saturday and Sunday we will have eight hours of programming coming your way each morning from 6 a.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET.

With the current 2019-20 Premier League season suspended until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have a lot of programming treats planned for you in the coming weeks and will keep up fully updated with a TV schedule posted every single week.

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Remember, during the season you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Below is your full Premier League TV schedule and stream links for Saturday and Sunday as we have classic matches, Goal of the Season, Behind the Badge, a focus on Liverpool v. Man City and much more coming up.


FULL TV SCHEDULE FOR NBCSN

Saturday, March 28
6-6:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Robbie Fowler [STREAM]
6:30-7 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Robbie Keane [STREAM]
7-7:30 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Ian Wright [STREAM]
7:30-8 a.m. ET: Soccerbox – Gianfranco Zola [STREAM]
8-9 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 1999-00 [STREAM]
9-10 a.m. ET: PL Goals of the Season: 2000-01 [STREAM]
10-10:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Arsenal v. Liverpool, Aug., 2016 [STREAM]
10:30-11 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Man United v. Man City, Sept. 2009 [STREAM]
11-11:30 a.m. ET: Classic Match: Arsenal v. Tottenham, Oct., 2008 [STREAM]
11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Classic Match: Man United v. Ipswich, Mar., 1995 [STREAM]
12-12:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Crystal Palace, Episode 1 [STREAM]
12:30-  p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Crystal Palace, Episode 2 [STREAM]
1-1:30 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Crystal Palace, Episode 3 [STREAM]
1:30-2 p.m. ET. ET: Behind the Badge – Crystal Palace, Episode 4 [STREAM]

Sunday, March 29
6-7 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1996-97 [STREAM]
7-8 a.m. ET: PL season in review 1997-98 [STREAM]
8-10 a.m. ET: Match of the Week, Liverpool v. Man City Apr. 2014 [STREAM]
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Man City v. Liverpool Sept. 2017 [STREAM]
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET: Match of the Week, Liverpool v. Man City Jan. 2018 [STREAM]