, June 14, 2021

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Premier League Ordered to Submit Plans for Finishing 2019-20 Season By May 25

  •   2 min reads
Premier League restart plans
The Premier League must put forth a plan for finishing out the season. Andy Rain/EPA.

The Premier League and Europe’s other major divisions have been told to inform UEFA of their plans to resume the 2019-20 season by May 25.

Aleksander Ceferin, president of European football’s governing body, and general secretary, Theodore Theodoridis, released a statement, per Sky Sports:

"National associations and/or leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by 25 May 2020 the planned restart of their domestic competitions including the date of restart and the relevant competition format.”

UEFA had already announced guidelines telling its 55 member associations to finish league campaigns based on “sporting merit,” with the next meeting of the executive committee scheduled for May 27, two days after the new target date.

Sky Sports reporter Bryan Swanson discussed details of the UEFA deadline, which instructed leagues to submit plans regarding schedules and any format changes, via Football Daily:

Liverpool were six points from sealing their first English top flight title since 1990 before the Premier League season was suspended on March 13, sat 25 points ahead of Manchester City.

There’s been fervent debate regarding the campaign and whether it should be resumed at all amid the pandemic.

Premier League chief Richard Masters wrote to the government earlier in April (h/t Guardian) saying top-flight clubs were at risk of losing up to £1 billion if the season ended early, while others suggest the return of sport in some capacity is essential for public morale.

On the other hand, many would argue sport is not to be considered essential work during a pandemic when healthcare workers are already under great stress, with even games played behind closed doors requiring many hands behind the scenes to take place. Swanson’s report included estimates that a televised Premier League game requires between 450 and 850 staff and media personnel.

It’s understood plans to restart the season in quarantined, neutral venues under a ‘World Cup-style’ format are gathering pace, though The Times reported opposition from some clubs:

UEFA have also asked national associations—primarily the Dutch FA—to also "explain the special circumstances justifying such premature termination” by May 25 after the Eredivisie campaign was brought to a close.

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