31 March 2020

'Premier League aiming to resume in early May, but behind closed doors'

The Premier League are planning to restart the 2019/20 season at the beginning of May behind closed doors.

And it is believed the campaign could be completed by July 12, according to the Daily Mail.

Leicester beat Aston Villa 4-0 on March 9 in the last Premier League match before the suspension (PA Images)

This is a bid to avoid a huge TV rebate of up to £762 million, which will need to be paid to rights holders Sky, BT and other international organisations if the season is not finished on July 16.

The plan is set to be discussed in a meeting with all 20 Premier League clubs on Friday and will also need to be given the go ahead by PFA, the Government and public health bodies.

All elite football in England is currently suspended until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the postponement of Euro 2020 until next year now means domestic leagues are able to run into June and July.

In order to accommodate clubs playing nine or ten league matches in the space of two months, there are expected to be rule amendments.

One being discussed is in relation to the sizes of squads, which could be increased from 25 players to 29.

And it has also been reported that one club has asked about the possibility of fielding their youth team, meaning regulations may be relaxed on what constitutes a 'weakened side'.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, matches would also take place without any media and very small TV crews and security.

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