Coronavirus: Premier League Clubs Determined To Finish Season

Coronavirus: Premier League Clubs Determined To Finish Season

Premier League clubs are determined to finish this season despite concerns football may be preparing to come back too soon amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The clubs are due to receive proposals about how the season could restart as early as 8 June at a meeting on Friday.

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One club owner says there is no chance of the season being cancelled because clubs would go out of business if the remaining 92 games were not played.

“There is a great will to play the games,” he said. “We simply can’t afford to not play but nothing will be done without government approval.

“If we wait for a vaccine or herd immunity it could be 18 months without football and 90 per cent of clubs would go bust. Even if we sacked 95 per cent of our employees, we’d still go bust because we would still have to pay the players.”

The government is due to review lockdown restrictions next Thursday and footballers could start training again in small groups soon after with a best-case scenario provisional restart date of 8 June.

Some players are worried about returning to work too soon but those who do not want to return will be given the option of staying at home.

“No one will be forced to play,” the club owner said. “It will ultimately be the player’s decision. If a player doesn’t want to play it will be their call.”

Plans are being made for squads to stay in hotels for the five weeks it would take to complete the season. Such a precaution would remove the potential risk of players contaminating their families with the virus having returned to training and playing.

The football seasons in France and Holland have been cancelled but Premier League clubs are set on pressing ahead with plans to restart games when the government advises it is safe for players to return to work.

“There is no desire to end the season at this time,” the club owner said. “We want to play the games.”

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