June 30 cut-off date to complete season set to be discussed
PUBLISHED: 17:19 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 17:19 16 April 2020
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The Premier League is set to discuss a proposal to try to finish the suspended season by June 30 at a meeting tomorrow – a decision which would have knock-on effects for Ipswich Town and the EFL.
Reports suggest that nine top flight clubs are backing the proposal, with a number of complications arising if the season goes on past that date - notably contract expiration issues.
In the EFL, players can’t begin training again until May 16 at the earliest as the UK continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s been claimed that June 6 is the date that leagues are working towards on which to restart the season in behind closed doors games, but clearly that depends on the latest Government advice as regards social distancing and lockdown restrictions - lockdown having been extended for at least three more weeks this afternoon.
The EFL has previously said that it will take 56 days to complete its season, including play-offs - so a June 30 cut-off date would seem to make that impossible.
Ipswich Town, tenth in League One, still have eight games to play.
But Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder saId he does not expect a deadline to be set for the season’s conclusion.
“I’m sure that we will adjust accordingly,” the Blades boss told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I think for the integrity of the competition and competitions, especially the top end of English football and European football, they’ll want to finish the season.
“I believe that there will be an ability next year to adjust, with international breaks, with moving a few games into midweek. We have that ability through organisation and planning to finish this season off.
“But only as everybody said, and I’ll reiterate that, when it’s safe to do so for everybody. And that obviously we have to take our lead off the Government and what they suggest and want us to do.”
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom is also not expecting any definitive update at tomorrow’s meeting.
“We would like to finish the season,” Bloom said. “There does come a point when we can’t keep waiting but I don’t think June 30 is that point.
“There’s talk about player contracts and sponsorship and it’s difficult to play beyond that but this situation is so unique and unprecedented every option should be looked at.”
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