Representatives from all 20 Premier League teams and various other stakeholders met again on Friday in the latest crisis meeting to address the impact and the way forward during this coronavirus pandemic, but it appears that no specific decisions were made.
The only tangible outcome from the meeting was the restatement of a “united” desire to finish out the entire season, but without any deadlines, hard or soft, put into place.
In the week leading up to the meeting, media reports spoke of the growing possibility (among the non big-six according to the tabloids), to set a hard deadline at June 30, the traditional end-date for the season and all associated contracts. But apparently there was no talk of a deadline, June 30 or otherwise, during the meeting, with no participant raising this issue.
The issue of league-wide wage cuts was apparently also not debated.
Instead, the 2-hour meeting was seemingly mostly spent debating over various scheduling models, for if and when the season does resume. Looking to what’s happening in other countries, there’s perhaps hope to be able to do so by early June? We’ll just have to wait and see.
The fluid nature of the situation and the ever-evolving guidance from the government and health authorities means that any such plans will continue to change and evolve right along. Obviously, there will no football, socially distanced or not, with fans or without, until the authorities deemed it safe to do so.
“We are acutely aware of the distress COVID-19 is causing and our thoughts are with all those directly affected by the pandemic.
“In common with other businesses and industries, the Premier League and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios. We are actively engaging with stakeholders, including broadcast partners, and our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so and with the full support of the Government.
”The health and wellbeing of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters are our priority and the League will only restart when medical guidance allows.
”Today’s shareholders’ meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019/20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of COVID-19 develops.
”In response to the pandemic, the Premier League, our clubs and players have provided vital support for communities and the NHS and will continue to do so after matches recommence.”
-Premier League statement; source: Sky