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Mar 21, 2020

English FA Announce New Date For The Resumption Of Premier League And Other Leagues in England.

English FA Announce New Date For The Resumption Of Premier League And Other Leagues in England

Bruno Fernandes Manchester United 2019-20

England's top division and the rest of the country's professional structures have been thrown into disarray as efforts to contain Covid-19 continue

The Premier League will be on hold for a number of weeks due to the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19 through a number of its clubs.

The initial decision was made on Friday March 13 following collective agreement with the Football Association, the English Football League, the FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship.

A week later, on March 19, a decision to extend the suspension period was confirmed by the FA.

Which Premier League games are postponed due to coronavirus?

The Premier League has postponed the next six matchdays (gameweeks 30 - 35). That means games will not be played for the remainder of March and the whole of April.

Notable games to fall in this window include the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Goodison Park, Tottenham's game against Manchester United in London and Chelsea vs Manchester City.

Other games include Manchester City vs Liverpool and the North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal.

When will the Premier League return?

The postponement to the Premier League will last until May 2 at the earliest.

However, any return date will depend on how things develop with regard to the coronavirus containment efforts.

A statement from the FA said: "The progress of Covid-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.

"We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow."

How will the coronavirus suspension impact the Premier League?

The postponement of six gameweeks will mean that space will have to be found after the normal end of the season, which would ordinarily have concluded in the middle of May.

The FA has said that "all parties are committed at this time to trying to complete this season’s domestic fixture programme and are liaising to establish appropriate options to do so." 

However, there are serious concerns. According to the Times, figures within the FA are worried that it will not be possible to complete the season.

Gameweek 38 is provisionally scheduled to take place on May 17, while the FA Cup final is due to be played on May 18.

The Champions League final, meanwhile, is scheduled for May 30, though UEFA, having already postponed Champions League and Europa League fixtures, may be forced to delay that as well.

Either way, with Premier League action paused until the beginning of May, it leaves an unrealistic window in which the postponed gameweeks can be fulfilled.

UEFA has moved Euro 2020 to June and Jule of 2021, freeing up two months in the summer which could be used to finally conclude club competitions.

There has also been some confusion regarding what will actually happen if the Premier League schedule is completely and irrevocably compromised by these disruptions.

Crowning the league champions - could Liverpool be denied their glory? - is one such consideration, as are issues such as UEFA qualification places and relegation (as well as promotion from the Championship).

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