Premier League to tell clubs they want September start for 2020-21 irrespective of when this season finishes – increasing likelihood of campaign being curtailed if there are more delays
- The Premier League want next season to start on weekend of September 12-13
- The board are determined to agree a fixed start date for the 2020-21 campaign
- Thursday’s shareholders’ meeting will also arrange fixtures for Project Restart
- While there have been calls to delay next season’s start, officials are against it
- Executives want to ensure their revised timetable is similar to the rest of Europe
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The Premier League will tell clubs at Thursday’s shareholders’ meeting that they want next season to start on the weekend of September 12-13 irrespective of the conclusion to the current campaign.
The board’s determination to agree a fixed start date for the 2020-21 season this week — in addition to arranging detailed fixture arrangements for Project Restart — will increase the likelihood of this season being curtailed if there is another suspension due to positive Covid-19 tests.
The Premier League are working towards resuming this season next month if the players agree and there is no significant increase in positive tests, with June 19 and 26 the most likely kick-off dates. But Sportsmail has been told they are just as focused on agreeing a prompt start to next season.
Premier League officials want next season to start on the weekend of September 12-13
While many within football have called for the 2020-21 campaign to be delayed to ensure this season is completed and due to uncertainty over coronavirus, there is no appetite at the Premier League for a major delay.
Executives are conscious of the need to ensure their revised timetable is similar to that of the rest of Europe, to help clubs still involved in Europe and national teams.
The Bundesliga will finish their third round of fixtures since returning on Wednesday, while Spain will resume on June 11 and Italy have set a deadline of August 20 for the Serie A season to be completed, with the next campaign to begin on September 1.
The proposed timetable is ambitious given the clubs have yet to resume full-contact training
UEFA are working towards staging the Europa League and Champions League finals on August 26 and 29 — a plan to be confirmed on June 17.
FIFA’s September international break is also still in the calendar, with England due to play Iceland and Denmark in UEFA Nations League matches.
The Premier League hope to start next season immediately afterwards.
The proposed Premier League timetable is ambitious given the clubs have yet to resume full-contact training.
With little room for manoeuvre, it is likely to lead to fixture congestion after the restart.
It will also increase the chance of curtailment in the event of any setbacks — so clubs will be asked to approve plans to determine final league position by the points-per-game system on Thursday, as revealed by Sportsmail.
There have been calls to delay the start of next season while the 2019-20 campaign finishes
The schedule to be discussed on Thursday is based on the season finishing with the FA Cup final on August 8. But with so little leeway, that competition could come under pressure as completing the league is the priority.
The prospect of a June resumption moved a step closer on Tuesday with two positive briefings with players and managers over the stage-two training, which the clubs will be asked to approve on Wednesday.
Both groups were told the Premier League’s contact training and testing protocols and were largely reassured by what medical director Mark Gillett had to say.
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