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Premier League end date yet to be decided as contract concerns surface

THE FA

Clubs in the the Premier League did not discuss ending the season by 30th June when they met on 17th April, as the English top-flight league navigates their way through some contract and sponsorship disputes.

Clubs have looked at numerous models for the resumption of action, but are purely speculative as this stage until the UK government provide an update on restrictions, with the country currently in lockdown until 7th May at the earliest to limit the spread of coronavirus.

It had been reported that numerous clubs were concerned that finishing after the end of June could cause issues, as player contracts may expire on 30th June. However, this issue was not raised.

It is thought the biggest financial consideration for clubs remains getting the 2019/20 season completed, rather than any costs attached to legal disputes over contracts.

Discussions on a collective approach to tackling the issue of player contracts is believed to be a work in progress, with FIFA, the game’s global governing body, having proposed that contracts can be extended to match a later than usual end date to a season.

The general acceptance among Premier League clubs is matches will have to be played behind closed doors if the competition is able to resume because of the restrictions around mass gatherings, but there is no guarantee that all matches will be available to watch from home.

Rick Parry, chairman of the English Football League (EFL), wrote an open letter to supporters of clubs in the three professional tiers below the top flight outlining plans to at least stream every match, so fans would not miss out.

“In common with other businesses and industries, the Premier League and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios,” a Premier League spokesperson said.

“We are actively engaging with stakeholders, including broadcast partners, and our aim is to ensure we are in a position to resume playing when it is safe to do so and with the full support of the government.

“The health and well-being of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters are our priority and the league will only restart when medical guidance allows.

“[17th April’s] shareholders’ meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019/20 season but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of Covid-19 develops.

“In response to the pandemic, the Premier League, our clubs and players have provided vital support for communities and the NHS and will continue to do so after matches recommence.”

Liam Watson is the Managing Editor at Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Optus Sport to stream Football Victoria’s Nike F.C. Cup Final

Nike F.C. Cup

Football Victoria have made the exciting announcement that Optus Sport will yet again stream the Nike F.C. Cup Final in 2022.

Optus Sport have been the home of the English Premier League in Australia since 2016, and are also home to LaLiga, the Women’s Super League, K-League, J-League and the EURO’s.

The Cup Final will be held on Sunday afternoon, when South Melbourne takes on Calder United at Valley Park Events Centre, Broadmeadows.

Football Victoria CEO Kimon Taliadoros applauded Optus Sport’s commitment and acknowledged their continued support of the local game in a statement released by Football Victoria.

“The appetite for women’s football is growing exponentially and we thank Optus Sport for their elevation of the Nike F.C. Cup again in 2022,” he said in a statement.

“We are thrilled that subscribers across the nation can experience the quality football that the two teams will deliver on Sunday.”

Match coverage starts at 3.30pm AEDT, with the final kicking off at 4pm this Sunday.

Coverage will also be provided for non-subscribers on NPL.TV and Football Victoria’s Facebook and YouTube.

Customers can watch Optus Sport on their favourite screens and devices via Fetch, Apple TV, Android TV compatible Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Apple Airplay, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, compatible Samsung Smart TVs or desktop, or on-the-go via tablet, mobile, or laptop.

FC Bayern and Adobe partner to power the club’s digital transformation

Bayern and Adobe

FC Bayern, one of the world’s most historic and successful football clubs, have announced a multi-year partnership with Adobe to power the club’s digital transformation.

The agreement will bring new, personalised experiences to its millions of current and future global fans – both on and offline – while driving greater efficiency and more sustainable business practices through Adobe’s enterprise solutions.

With a rapidly growing global fanbase, FC Bayern is passionate about connecting fans to their favourite club in new ways. Adobe’s technology will provide FC Bayern the ability to better understand its fans to create more engaging and individualised sports experiences.

Adobe Experience Cloud, including Adobe’s customer data platform, will help FC Bayern create fan profiles to better understand how supporters engage with the brand and ensure they enjoy a more personal relationship with their favourite teams. This means the overall matchday experience will be enhanced for fans, giving supporters real-time notifications at their fingertips including merchandising discounts, video content and last-minute ticket availability.

With more digital experiences across platforms, channels and devices, FC Bayern fans will never miss a moment whether they are at the Arena, on the go or in the comfort of their home. For example, when a goal is scored fans will receive content on their preferred channel to celebrate the moment in real time, as well as post-match video commentary and highlights.

FC Bayern will also use Adobe Document Cloud, including Adobe Acrobat Sign, to digitise collaboration with fans, employees and partners. With Document Cloud, activities like signing up for memberships or executing player agreements will be quick and secure, while reducing environmental impact.

“Today’s FC Bayern fan is digitally savvy and craves new ways to get closer to our club and players, which is why we aim to create sustainable and lasting interactions that bring matchday excitement to our millions of passionate fans across the world,” FC Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn in a statement.

“We’re investing in a long-term digital strategy with Adobe’s breadth of enterprise applications at the core of our technology, to deepen how our fans engage with the club and to inspire the next generation of fans for years to come.

“FC Bayern has millions of fans around the world, and they are at the forefront of revolutionising fan experiences,” said Anil Chakravarthy, president of Digital Experience Business at Adobe. “With this partnership, FC Bayern will create more personalised experiences to enable fans to celebrate the passion and heart of the club wherever they may be.”

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