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Premier League clubs reaffirm commitment to completing 2019-20 season

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Premier League clubs have discussed options for resuming the 2019-20 season and reaffirmed their commitment to completing the campaign, paused because of the Covid-19 pandemic, at a shareholder meeting today (Friday).

“The League and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with government guidance, under expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers,” said a statement on the league’s website.

The Premier League said no decisions were taken at the meeting and its priority continued to be to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, managers, club staff, supporters and the wider community.

It also welcomed the creation of the UK government’s medical working group to bring about the return of elite sport, which met for the first time this morning.

“No decisions were taken at today’s Shareholders’ meeting and clubs exchanged views on the information provided regarding ‘Project Restart’,” the Premier League statement continued.

“It was agreed that the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Association], LMA [League Managers Association], players and managers are key to this process and will be further consulted.

“The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019-20 season, maintaining [the] integrity of the competition and welcomed the government’s support.”

The league is reported to be considering scheduling games behind closed doors to fulfil its requirements to broadcast partners.

Earlier today, the Premier League’s principle domestic broadcaster, Sky, announced a 5.8-per-cent drop in revenues to $4.51bn (€4.12bn) in the first quarter, which it attributed to a drop-off in subscribers caused by Covid-19.

In March Sky said it would allow UK residential and commercial customers to freeze their subscriptions amid the dearth of live sport on its schedules.

Yesterday, The Guardian reported that Premier League clubs have invested in coronavirus testing machines to enable top-flight football to resume without impacting on public health needs.

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