Premier League football looks set to restart on 17th June, with a full set of fixtures from the weekend of 20th June onwards.
England’s top footballing division has been in the dark for three months, due to the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent imposed lockdown.
The date, which was agreed yesterday, is provisional and requires various conditions to be met before ‘Project Restart’ becomes a reality.
All of the season’s remaining 92 games will be broadcasted on television.
Hopes that the green light will be given
Since the shutdown of competitive football in England in mid-March, the Premier League has maintained its intention to avoid nulling the current campaign.
The Premier League restart date is dependent on the league receiving and implementing government guidance. It also relies on the coronavirus infection rate not rising again.
If all goes to plan, the first two matches will be leftovers from March. These are Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal, both of which would take place midweek.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters discussed the hopeful return of top-flight football, with his thoughts being as follows.
“Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17th June. But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.
“Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.
“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home. We will continue to work step‑by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019-20 season.”
As of yet, no date has been specified as to when supporters can return to stadiums.
TV rights shared
Sky Sports is set to broadcast 64 of the 92 games left, 25 of which will be made free to watch. The Merseyside derby, which could be the game where runaway leaders seal the title, is one of these.
BBC will be able to show four matches live, while other broadcasters such as BT Sport are also getting in on the action.
How will the season be completed?
The league would be required to wrap up the 2019/2020 campaign by 2nd August. Intended kick-off times would run as follows.
- Fridays (8 p.m.).
- Saturdays (12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m.).
- Sundays (12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m.).
- Mondays (8 p.m.).
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (6 p.m. and 8 p.m.).
A completion date for this season’s FA Cup has also been announced, with officials hoping that the final will take place on 1st August. This is one week earlier than was originally expected.
Lower down the footballing pyramid, the Championship could also return soon. It has been suggested in some local media outlets that this may be on the weekend of 20th June.