Premier League chiefs will meet on Friday afternoon to continue talks with the EFL, PFA and LMA, amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Football in England has been suspended until April 30 but the first agenda of the meeting will surely be extending that date.
The main topic of discussion will be trying to find a solution to finish the 2019/20 season. That is still the priority but, with every passing day, that is looking more and more unlikely.
On Thursday, the Belgian league made the decision to end the season with immediate effect, crowning league leaders Club Brugge as champions.
What decisions will be made in the Premier League meeting today?
Well, it’s unlikely they will follow in Belgium’s footsteps but there are currently seven scenarios and theories about how to finish the current campaign. These will be explored in the meeting.
Compiled by football.london, let’s take a look at them:
Voiding the season
Declaring the season null and void will be seen as the last resort - but it might be the only decision the Premier League can make if the coronavirus pandemic worsens in England. There would be no champions, no European qualification and no relegation.
The sticking point is that it would cost clubs millions to TV broadcasters for not fulfilling their contracts. And then there’s more trivial issues like refunds on season tickets and bonuses in player contracts.
The Athletic claim that the idea of voiding the season is becoming more and more popular within senior figures at some Premier League clubs.
Restart in July
Will football return in three months’ time? It’s hard to say right now but that’s the hope.
football.london reported that the FA, Premier League and EFL discussed plans with the government to complete the season behind closed doors over a period of four to six weeks starting in July.
This scenario would obviously lead straight into the 2020/21 season so a plan would have to be put in place to deal with that.
No European football
Would UEFA sacrifice the Champions League and the Europe League in order to allow the domestic leagues more time to finish their seasons?
Resumption in June
If it’s safe to do so, resuming the season at the end of June would give the Premier League ample time to finish before next campaign. The Guardian reported that was the plan but have now stated that’s looking unlikely due to the coronavirus situation in England.
As with many of these scenarios, the fact players’ contracts expire at the end of June would need to be addressed.
The Daily Mail report that the season could resume at the end of May and be completed in just six weeks.
They plan to resume on the first weekend in May and finish around July 12.
Starting again at the end of next months seems unrealistic, though.
'World Cup' event
This would probably be the choice for fans.
The Independent says the Premier League want to finish the season with the players in isolated camps with games behind played behind closed doors and shown on live TV.
This plan has also got the back of the UK Government as they see football as a solution to the current lockdown.
Two more matches
The Premier League could be finished in just two games time.
The Sunday Times says one idea is to get everyone to have played 29 matches - with Manchester City, Arsenal, Sheffield United and Aston Villa all having a game in hand.
The Man City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield United matches were previously postponed due to the Carabao Cup final so playing them before voiding the season is a possible solution.
FA Cup final in October
The FA Cup is at the quarter-final stage and the FA intend to complete the competition.
But they could postpone it until October to allow more space for the Premier League to finish.
- One Premier League club has proposed to finish the 19/20 season in China
- Premier League, Sky and BT Sport consider free-to-air TV for remaining fixtures
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