Start of April 2020: Where is the EPL at?

One of the many, many consequences of the current lockdown is the suspension of professional football until further notice. This, of course, poses a gigantic issue for a lot of stakeholders, from clubs and sponsors to club employees and the players themselves, but also for seasoned fantasy football players like you and us. The big decision comes down to allowing the current season to finish one way or another, or to let the fat lady sing and hang it up. We can read about emergency meetings, conflicting interests, and the enormous complexity of the situation almost every day, but what’s the real status now? Are we still going to see the remaining gameweeks of the 2019-2020 Premier League being played or is the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters going to have to write Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (and the rest of Liverpool’s red side) a little explanatory note? We decided to use this article to shed a bit more light on the current status of the Premier League.

What was initially decided?

On March 19th, 2020, the BBC and many other reputable news outlets reported that English football would be suspended entirely until at least the 30th of April due to the rapidly developing situation at the time. This meant that all games in England’s Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League, and Women’s Championship, and all fixtures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are currently postponed. Before that, the 19/20 season was scheduled to end on the 1st of June 2020.

At the time of this news, a joint statement was issued by the FA, Premier League and EFL to express “a commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 season” and to state that completing all domestic and European matches was the objective “as soon as it is safe and possible to do so”. An additional complicating factor is that these decisions don’t only depend on the English football bodies, but on the UEFA and the FIFA, as well. European football, in terms of participation, prize money, TV right, and ticket sales, is an essential component of the operational model of many clubs. As a result, unilateral decisions taken by domestic leagues can set into motion a chain reaction of financial events that would make the situation for the football world even worse. There is a lot of wealth within the top echelons of the Football Leagues which flows down to the players particularly the stars of the game. Some of them have an interest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and use robot trading systems such as bitcoin era to aid their crypto trading. Generating a return from cryptocurrency assets is important and an automatic system can be of help particularly for those that are new to bitcoin.

By now though, it’s almost a month ago since that decision was taken and the UK, like the rest of the world, has not been sitting still during that time. This week on Wednesday, April 8th, the English Football League outlined a new plan that would allow the current season to be finished before the supposed start of the 2020-2021 campaign. The Premier League has not made its own statement, but one is expected soon. For now, we’ll take a quick look at what the EFL has proposed and what the immediate future of the Premier League might hold.

The current status of English football

The English Football League held a meeting on Wednesday, April 8th, to discuss the immediate future of the ongoing football season and, in a sense, the future of English football overall. That meeting was followed by a message from league chairman Rick Parry to all Football League clubs in which the EFL advises to give all players a holiday and to not resume group training until May 16th  at the earliest. The idea behind this suggestion is to restart the 19-20 season in June 2020 and complete all of the remaining fixtures, including the hugely important play-offs, over a period of 56 days. For the Championship alone, this would require squeezing 113  matches into an eight-week period.

The EFL’s letter was obviously designed to provide clubs with some clarity amid the chaos, but the reality is that not much more has been cleared up. It does shed a light on the intentions of the Football League, but a meaningful caveat exists, namely the EFL will continue to listen to government advice. This basically means that any statements from within English football with which the government has not been involved, are subject to change. The Premier League has not offered this kind of guidance for its member organisations yet, apart from suspending the league indefinitely as announced on April 3rd, but like the EFL, their decisions are largely dependent on government advice and guidelines as well.

So what is the Premier League doing?

Despite the EFL and the PL operating individually in many areas, season-defining decisions of the type that need to be taken soon will undoubtedly be taken after the two leagues reach an agreement. As far as the Premier League goes, the most recent indications of their expectations regarding the end of the 19-20 campaign came during an FA Council meeting held from FA chairman Greg Clarke on Tuesday this week (April 7th). He confirmed that fully completing the season with promotion, relegation, and title winners is still the plan, but also that human life was the priority and that there are certainly realistic scenarios in which the Premier League season cannot be finished as planned. Or to put it in his own words:

We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit. However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the Government directs as the pandemic unfolds.” (Click here for the link to a video of Clarke’s speech).

The FA Chairman also spoke about the real risk of Premier League clubs getting into potentially fatal trouble in several severe scenarios and urged football stakeholders to unite to create a plan to ensure English football is not damaged beyond imagination. In other words, there is no definite plan yet for continuation (or cancellation) of the 19/20 PL campaign, but the wheels are moving. We don’t know when English football will return to our screens and lives, so all we can do for you now is to keep you updated on any developments and recommend to keep an eye on Premier League news yourself as well.