BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

English Premier League will resume on June 17 after 100-day absence

Comments
Liverpool currently lead Manchester City by 25 points in the Premier League table.
Liverpool currently lead Manchester City by 25 points in the Premier League table.   -   Copyright  Jon Super/AP
Text size Aa Aa

The Premier League season will resume on 17 June, after a three-month lay-off during the coronavirus pandemic.

Top-flight football matches in the UK have been suspended since March 13, with 92 fixtures of the 2019-20 season still be played.

The Premier League has confirmed that games will now be played behind closed doors, with no fans in attendance.

Shareholders agreed to the new provisional restart date at a meeting on Thursday, provided that "all safety requirements are in place".

"This date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority," said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters.

June 17 is exactly 100 days after the last Premier League fixture between Leicester City and Aston Villa on 9 March.

The two outstanding fixtures of Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal are understood to be the first scheduled games, before a full round of fixtures between 19-21 June.

Shareholders have also agreed that all matches will be broadcast live by existing partners, including Amazon Prime.

"Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums," said Richard Masters, "so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches."

"The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters."

"It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home."

The planned kick-off times in the UK for live matches will also differ from the traditional times.

"We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019/20 season," said Masters.

Liverpool were leading the Premier League by 25 points when the season was suspended in March, while AFC Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are currently sitting nervously in the relegation zone.

On Wednesday, clubs had unanimously voted to resume contact training in phase two of the UK's 'Project Restart'.

Players and staff will continue to be tested twice a week for COVID-19 as part of the Premier League's precautionary measures.

On Thursday, just 12 people had tested positive for coronavirus across the league.

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) had previously raised the issue of players not wanting to be put at risk by returning to football too soon.

Germany's Bundesliga became the first major European league to return to action on May 16 with matches behind closed doors.

Authorities in Spain and Italy have also expressed hopes of resuming the 2019-20 season in June, after players returned to training this month.

But France, Belgium, and the Netherlands are among the leagues that have decided to abandon competition and declare the current standings as final.