The coronavirus pandemic has already had a massive impact on football across Europe - and now it looks set to affect English football, including the Premier League.
The Times have exclusively revealed that all football matches in England are set to be played behind closed doors under government plans to combat the virus.
The plans could be activated as early as Thursday, the report adds.
A meeting of the government’s Cobra committee is set to take place on Thursday morning. It’s expected that its response to the pandemic will move from the “contain” phase to “delay”.
This, in turn, will result in a crisis plan being unveiled for English football - and lots is about to change.
The Times have listed a series of bullet points on Thursday’s back page and they are as follows:
- ‘The current season will not be postponed and instead matches in the Premier League and lower divisions will be moved behind closed doors’
- ‘All Premier League season-ticket holders and ticket holders for individual games will be able to stream coverage of matches into their homes’
- ‘No games will be shown in pubs so as to avoid congregation of people’
- ‘Premier League games will not be shown live in the 3pm slot on Saturday afternoons’
- ‘Broadcasters will be permitted to screen more than one Premier League game during both the lunchtime and tea-time television slots on Saturday, and the scheduled slots on Sundays and Mondays’
- ‘Season-ticket holders and ticket holders for individual games at Football League clubs will be allowed to watch matches on iFollow streams’
These are obviously serious plans to combat what is becoming an increasingly concerning situation across the globe.
However, there will be many who feel the government aren’t going far enough and should suspend all football until the situation calms down.
The Times add that this plan may be implemented once the number of UK coronavirus cases passes 500.
At the time of writing it stands at 460 in the UK. Eight people have died so far.
The government have been in discussion with the Premier League, the Football League and the Football Association about what can be done under the current circumstances.
And these dramatic moves are reportedly seen as the only potential way to end the current season as the country moves closer to the ‘delay’ phase.
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