English Premier League return uncertain
English Premier League (EPL) stakeholders met on Friday to discuss the way forward after the top-tier league was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The clubs discussed in detail how to respond to the global pandemic and in a statement posted on their portal, they have all unanimously agreed the league will not resume by May.
“The Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May. The 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time,” the statement reads in part.
“The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the Government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution,” it added.
The Premier League, however, has confirmed the remaining leagues will eventually be played when the pandemic is contained.
“With this, there is a combined objective for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition. However, any return to play will only be with the full support of the Government and when medical guidance allows,” the statement reads partly.
The Premier League has also financially supported the National Health Service (NHS) in the fight against coronavirus.
As of Friday, there were over 38,000 confirmed cases in the UK and 684 deaths from the dreaded disease.
“In consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport the Premier League is immediately committing £20 million to support the NHS, communities, families and vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Premier League added.
“This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities, including those most in need. This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis,” the statement added.
All EPL clubs are also discussing with their players over the possibility of effecting a 30% pay cut that will go directly in the fight against coronavirus.