Premier League chief Richard Masters: Cancelling season discussed for first time

Premier League return thrown in doubt after another player tests positive for coronavirus

Premier League return thrown in doubt after another player tests positive for coronavirus

The UK government held a press conference yesterday to announce the easing of the lockdown and sport was one of the topics that many wanted to hear more about and it was confirmed that the sporting events including the Premier League could start as early as 1st June but without supporters.

With the United Kingdom government giving professional sport the green light to resume competitive action from June 1, the Premier League is targeting June 8 as a potential date to restart the campaign, which has nine matchdays still to play.

Masters also revealed that for the first time clubs discussed what might happen if the season could not be completed - although they continue to believe it can be finished. All the players have since then been at their homes due to the lockdown imposed by the government and have just started returning to the training grounds but with strict restrictions.

Clubs in the relegation battle have stood firmly against plans to host matches at neutral grounds, in fear of losing a competitive advantage, whilst these same clubs have rallied for a postponement of relegation this term.

Those towards the bottom of the table are thought to want games to be played home and away in the interest of fairness, while others could be against it for sponsorship reasons. Yet even in these unusual days it was still odd to hear Gordon Taylor pop up on the radio with the suggestion that shortened games might be the solution to finishing the Premier League season sometime before the clocks go back.

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What was agreed today 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.

"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", he said.

The government expected on Tuesday to publish a paper on plans and guidelines for a return of elite sport.

Once the Premier League was halted amid coronavirus threat, Liverpool were leading the division with 82 points in 29 games.

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