Update on the English Premier League: When and How Will it Push Through?
The current season of the English Premier League (EPL) has been put on hold since March 13 and not much decision on when it will resume has been made. This is even after the recent video conference between the 20 clubs involved in this season.
Since its suspension, many football fans were both relieved and disappointed about it. Relieved because the pandemic is a serious matter that should be could really affect the fans and the players themselves. Disappointed because they were simply looking forward to seeing the rest of the matches. Some were also ready to place their bets on the rest of the matches after visiting sites like Silentbet. They were simply excited to get to the conclusion of the season.
Since the suspension of the EPL, the UEFA and the league itself have been hoping to have the season back on at some point in June. To be specific, the league is looking at the weekend of June 13 to resume the rest of the season. However, the UEFA requires to have a plan by May 25 if that is the case.
It is more probable that the rest of the season will resume instead of restarting it. From a business perspective, restarting the whole season would really hurt everybody. It’d cost them money and it’s also likely that the clubs will be concerned about the wasted matches and efforts.
The government seems to be in favor of the EPL returning by June. It would, after all, help lift the morale of many fans worldwide. It could also help keep people indoors as the matches happen.
Now, how will that help keep people indoors, you may ask. The league is also considering conducting these matches behind closed doors. This would mean that these matches would be televised or streamed online instead. Keeping people indoors would only be a success, however, if information as to where the matches will be held will also be kept a secret.
That would be a struggle, for sure. However, this is still a better option than letting fans watch the rest of the matches in stadiums live. The only possible problem that could arise if they are successful in keeping people from home during these matches is what happens once the EPL has ended.
Whatever happens, Liverpool will be declared champions and of course, fans will be celebrating this long-awaited win. Celebrating this win could just make people violate the social distancing protocols in the country.
It is also likely that the clubs will be playing in non-advantage fields or neutral venues. This means that teams will be playing in fields where their fans are not likely to congregate. This is the front-runner when it comes to the proposals on the table when it comes to how the EPL should resume.
Other problems that the clubs could face aside from possibly getting sick once the EPL resumes too early include the ending of some players’ contracts. It is known that football contracts are usually valid from July 1 to June 30. This will just really mean that the deals will have to be extended. There are also some players who may not want to jeopardize fee contract moves. These players may refuse to play if that’s the case.
Overall, there are no concrete plans yet and no decisions have been made regarding the continuation of this year’s EPL. The next meeting of the league is scheduled to happen on May 8 via video conference. This is right after when the government is scheduled to tone down the lockdown measures in the country.
For now, the league has already advised the clubs and players to be ready to return to training by May 16. What’s really for sure is that the EPL is really determined to come back by at least the month of June. The rest of the season may not be completely canceled unlike what happened to the leagues in France and the Netherlands. Still, it doesn’t make this a hundred percent.
The clubs themselves want to be certain that solid plans are in place if the EPL will be back next month. Plans on what to do if a player gets sick, where they will be housed and situated while the matches are on-going, and if the pandemic hits the second wave should all be concretely laid out before commencing the league. All risks should be discussed and assurances should be in place before they all agree to resume the remainder of the season.