The Premier League will hold an emergency video conference on Thursday to discuss the implications of UEFA’s decision to postpone Euro 2020 for 12 months and attempt to play this season’s Champions League and Europa League to a conclusion.
Football across Europe has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has left many nations in a state of lockdown. But despite the uncertainty over when the crisis will ease, football’s administrators remain determined to plan for a return to action if, or when, normality of some kind returns.
Sources have told ESPN, however, it is unlikely that the Premier League conference, which will involve senior figures from all 20 top flight clubs and League chief executive Richard Masters, will result in a firm decision on the outcome of outstanding domestic issues such as relegation, league placings and any confirmation of Liverpool as this season’s champions.
The Premier League was involved as an observer during Tuesday’s UEFA conference and it will also be represented in the working group, set up by UEFA, that has been charged with finding a way for the European club competitions to be concluded by June 30.
All Premier League fixtures have been suspended until April 4 at the earliest, but that date could be put back at Thursday’s meeting due to the prospect of the UK government imposing more stringent restrictions on social movement in the coming days.
Sources have told ESPN, though, that Thursday’s meeting is primarily designed to ensure that communication continues between all parties, particularly after UEFA’s announcements earlier this week.
The EFL held a meeting of its own on Wednesday to discuss its plans for the season in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The primary objective, in order to protect competition integrity, is to deliver a successful conclusion to the 2019/20 season, subject to the over-riding priority around health and well-being,” the EFL said in a statement.
The EFL also announced short-term financial relief for its clubs, for which “measures are to be put in place to immediately assist with cash flow via a £50 million short-term relief package.”
“This fund consists of the remaining Basic Award payments being advanced to Clubs immediately, with the remainder made up through interest-free loan facility available to Clubs, calculated in line with the EFL’s Article of Associations,” the statement added.
“The cash injection is included as part of a series of measures, that includes potential Government support to help Clubs and their associated businesses through this period of uncertainty.”