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.”