This morning’s joint statement from The FA and the Premier League about extending the coronavirus-break until at least April 30 caused a bit of confusion with its wording about potentially extending the season “indefinitely” as well.
FA rules stipulate that all professional footballing seasons must finish by June 1. However, in lifting that restriction, the statement also seemingly claimed that this limit could be “extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season”. And that would fly in the face of the joint commitment announced by UEFA and ECA just the other day, that the 2019-20 season will end on June 30, regardless of its status.
Confusing statements by authorities and those in power! What else is new in the world?
Subsequent reporting on The FA’s statement makes it pretty clear that what they actually meant is that while they very much intend to finish the season by June 30, they do not have an exact path in how to achieve that, so they left it intentionally vague.
If for some reason not all games can be played before then, the season will be “curtailed” (big emphasis on that word) instead of being declared “null and void”. That certainly will be welcome news up on Merseyside, where Liverpool are within touching distance of the finishing line and their first top flight title in 30 years.
As the Telegraph reports the most likely way we can finish out the season would involve matches behind closed doors — an idea that’s been increasingly floated over the past few days. The league is supposedly open and “prepared for” this possibility, which would see the start of preseason pushed to August and next season pushed back to mid-September (after the first international break). It’s a good thing we already agreed to re-extend the summer transfer window to end the of August!