Anfield shuttered due to coronavirus
Grounds across England will stand empty until April 30, at least. Peter Powell/Shutterstock.

English football authorities have reiterated the Premier League season will not resume until April 30 at the earliest, saying “difficult decisions will have to be taken” amid growing speculation the season could be made null and void.

The Premier League, English Football League and Women’s Super League announced on March 13 that professional football would be suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. It was reported the 2019-20 campaign would be finished regardless of how long it took to resume, but suggestions of a cancellation have since gathered momentum.

A statement was released on Friday following a meeting between representatives of the Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), which read:

“It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organisations 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 30 April at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow.”

The Athletic’s David Ornstein wrote earlier on Friday that “a number of Premier League clubs” want to see the season ended with immediate effect and replayed when safe:

Liverpool were sat 25 points clear of Manchester City at the Premier League summit when play was suspended, two wins from securing their first top-flight title since 1990.

The matter is complicated by the fact City and Sheffield United—who are seventh and in contention to qualify for the UEFA Champions League—have played one game fewer than the other 18 teams.

There have been more than 26,000 deaths worldwide as a result of COVID-19, with the amount of confirmed cases approaching 600,000. At the time of writing, there have been 759 deaths from almost 15,000 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom.