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When will the Premier League Restart? 10 Things you need to know ..

Posted on June 15, 2020

Football, like all other sports, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus epidemic.  There have been no games played in the English top-flight leagues since March – over 100 days ago.  The last Premier League game that took place was between Leicester and Aston Villa on 9th March, which Leicester won 4-0.  The first match to be postponed was the Manchester City and Arsenal game.  This was after the Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.

Liverpool are waiting in the wings to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time.  Next season’s Champions League and Europa League places need to be decided.  There is also the small matter of promotion and relegation places that need to be contested.  The nation awaits the restart of the Premier League.

1) The Premier League Starts Again on Wednesday June 17th

Premier League clubs voted in favour for contact training to return from May 28 onwards.  Clubs also agreed on a return to action on June 17th.  It will start with the completion of the two outstanding games from matchday 28.  These are Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal.

There are stringent controls and checks in place to ensure the safety of players, coaches and essential staff.  All players will undergo a temperature check as they enter the stadium.  They will present a clinical passport with a barcode which will show their Coronavirus status.  If they have tested negative in the previous five days they can play.

2) There is a quarter of the season still to play

There is still a large proportion of the season yet to play.  The vast majority of the clubs have nine games left to play.  Four clubs have ten to play.  There is still a lot up for grabs.

3) Liverpool must surely win their first title for 30 years

Barring the biggest collapse in sporting history, Liverpool will win their first title since 1990.  It will be their first title in the Premier League era.  They have a 25-point lead at the top and would need to lose all their remaining fixtures, whilst Manchester City would need to win theirs.  Liverpool could claim the title at their Merseyside rivals if Man City lose to Arsenal, and Jurgen Klopp’s men beat Everton.  They can add the Premier League title to being European Champions, World Club Cup Champions and Super Cup winners.  What a season for the reds!

You can view a great selection of signed Liverpool shirts here.

4) Get ready for one of the best ever relegation battles

There are a number of teams fighting to avoid relegation to the Championship.  Norwich City are currently propping up the league on 21 points.  They are six points adrift from the relegation zone.   Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham and Brighton are all within 4 points of each other.  So with three to be relegated, only three of these teams will be breathing a sigh of relief come the end of the season.

5) Games will come thick and fast

Never has there been so many games crammed into such a short period of time.  Assuming we don’t get a second peak of Coronavirus, the season should be completed in five weeks.  This will be before the FA Cup Final which is currently scheduled for 1st August.  Once the season starts, there will only be two days in June without a Premier League game.  Don’t forget there are also the FA Cup games to fit in.  Plus also, the Champions League and Europa League games for those teams still competing in them.

Teams will need to play every 3 or 4 days which will test their fitness level.  It will surely increase the chance of injuries, with the players not having played a competitive game for over 100 days.

6) All games will be behind closed doors with no fans

Due to government legislation and the continued risks associated with the virus, mass gatherings and sporting events cannot take place.  This means every remaining match will be played behind closed doors.  Only 300 people will be allowed into the ground, including the players and club officials.

7) Games will be played at home stadiums

As it stands now, all games will be played at the designated home stadiums.  This may however change and some games may be switched to a neutral venue.  This would be to minimise the potential for large crowds of fans gathering whilst the games were being played.  Several games have been highlighted as risk, most notably Liverpool’s games as they edge closer to claiming the league title.

8) Every single game will be shown live on TV

This is great news for armchair fans!  All remaining 92 games will be broadcast live into your homes.  What is even better news is you don’t have to pay to watch all of them.   All games will be shown at different times, so if you wished you could watch each and every one of the remaining 92 games!

The BBC will be showing 4 free to air games, 25 of Sky Sports 64 matches will be shown on their free-to-air channel – Pick.  Amazon will also show 4 games for free.  All remaining matches will be shown via Sky Sports and BT Sports subscriptions.

You can view the Premier League TV Schedule here.

9) There will be new matchday rules.  Here are some of them: –

  • Only 300 people allowed into the ground, including the players and club officials.
  • Each team will get 37 ‘red zone passes’ allowing them to access key areas and the pitch.
  • Their 37 passes include 20 players, 12 medical and coaching staff plus 5 other passes.
  • Pre-match team talk will be limited to 15 minutes and will need to be conducted in the dressing room.
  • Temporary away dressing rooms are being built in stadium car parks to keep the players separated.  There will be two tunnels of entry onto the pitch, if the stadium allows it.
  • The pre-match ritual will change.  The away team will walk out on to the pitch first, following by the home team.  The officials will walkout last.  Players won’t shake hands before the game.
  • The toin coss will remain to decide who takes kick-off and which end the players will attack first.  Captains won’t shake hands.
  • Substitute benches will be larger so the players can maintain social distancing.
  • Spitting and clearing of nostrils is banned.
  • Players will use their own drink bottles and will be required to use hand sanitiser as they enter and leave the pitch.
  • There will be a minutes silence for the NHS before the first games.

10) It will impact the start of the 2020/2021 Season

The Premier League clubs have agreed to delay the start of the 2020/2021 season.  The new season would usually start in early to mid-August.  With the season only finishing in late July, this means next season will start towards the middle of September.  With the late start, it will inevitably mean the season will end later than normal.  Football will then flow into the European Championships that were postponed this summer.

It will no doubt be one long continual football-fest for the foreseeable future.  We are looking forward to it.  We hope you will be celebrating come to the end of the season!