The Premier League’s chief executive Richard Masters has admitted that while their aim is to finish the 2019/20 league season, discussions about cancelling it have taken place. The English football pyramid has been on lockdown since March 13th after Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tested positive.
After news that the UK government have given professional sports the green light to resume their seasons and competitive action from June 1st with the Premier League targeting June 8th. The league season has been suspended since March 13th with the league officials, PFA and various other groups looking for a way to resolve things. But while the Bundesliga are set to become the first European league to restart their season, the Premier League’s plan has caused problems.
But while there are concerns over a premature return, the biggest concern is disagreements over playing at neutral venues with a reported six clubs unhappy. Brighton and Watford have already confirmed their reluctance to play at neutral venues and that has stalled Project Restart. Amidst that and various other concerns Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has admitted that cancelling the season has been discussed.
While Masters refused to reveal beyond that, the Premier League’s chief executive confirmed that their aim is to finish the season but options over a potential restart for the Premier League and Championship are being discussed. He also added that there were no other conclusions reached on the other scenarios with them being future conversations between league officials and the clubs.
"I'm happy to reveal it [curtailment of season] was discussed for the first time, but the contents of that discussion have to remain confidential. It's still our aim to finish the season obviously, but it's important to discuss all the options with our clubs. What I can say is that all of the talk was about finishing the season. No conclusions were reached on any other models," Masters said reported ESPN.
"Those are future conversations we may need to have. There was a desire to see all the different implications, the adaptations, if you like, to the Premier League model as we know in order to play out the season and then discuss what the fairest way forward is."
Another issue that has plagued Project Restart has been expiring contracts which has seen various players and clubs concerned over the future. However, while FIFA has asked leagues and football associations to extend expiring contracts and loan agreements until the end of the season, no decision has taken place. But that has changed in England as Masters confirmed that clubs have been given permission to extend contracts beyond their June 30th expiration.
"Obviously this issue has been highlighted and we've discussed it at the last two meetings -- but we've been working as far as possible to ensure that clubs complete the season with the same squad they had prior to the suspension.
"What was agreed is that players can extend their contracts beyond June 30 until the end of the season, but it must be agreed by both parties and a later date can be scheduled for that -- no later than June 23,” he added.
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