Premier League ‘back plan to finish season by July 31 after reaching agreement with UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin’ which will see Champions League and Europa League ties played over August
- The Premier League struck an agreement with UEFA during crunch talks
- UEFA are confident major European leagues can finish by the end of July
- Outstanding Champions League and Europa League ties will be played in August
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The Premier League are now reportedly committed to finishing off the current campaign by the end of July.
The season is currently suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic with the last top-flight match taking place six weeks ago.
There was initially ambiguity around plans on how to finish the season, and if it was feasible, but The Sun claim Premier League chiefs have now backed a July 31 deadline during crunch talks involving UEFA, other major European leagues and leading clubs.
The Premier League have reportedly backed plans for current season to be finished by July 31
It has been reported that an agreement has been reached which will see outstanding Champions League and Europa League ties be played throughout August before the new season.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Wolves are all still in European competitions as things stand.
Conflicting reports this week said that some Premier League clubs were considering making a U-turn after originally reaffirming their intention to finish the season.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin held crunch talks with European leagues and leading clubs
The principal fear of some clubs has been the safety of their stars playing a full contact sport while there remains a risk of contracting Covid-19.
However, there now seems to be some clarity over the Premier League’s next move after an agreement was thrashed out by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and the European League umbrella group.
‘The ambition has been the end of July to finish domestic leagues, then we can try to play the final phase of European competitions in August,’ European Leagues head Lars Christer Olsson said.
‘There will have to be some flexibility from UEFA.
The agreement will see outstanding Champions League ties played throughout August
‘But we remain confident the leagues can finish. Most countries will be able to do it, although it will have to be games played without fans.’
The news will put pressure on other leagues around Europe to get back up and running in June by the latest.
Meanwhile, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has raised concerns if matches played behind closed doors were shown on subscription-based channels Sky Sports and BT Sport, who hold the UK rights, then it could lead to fans visiting friend’s houses to watch the games.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden proposed Premier League games being shown on free TV
Dowden told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that he has held positive talks with the Premier League about games being shown on free-to-air TV channels in a bid to prevent people from congregating.
The Premier League will however need to first reach some kind of agreement with Sky Sports and BT Sport.
All 20 Premier League clubs will hold another virtual meeting on Friday, May 1 to smooth over any concerns they have about the season resuming.
Managers across the top flight are said to want training to start back up next month and have already held talks with their players while club doctors have been working on stringent safety protocols with the league to ensure the safety of stars returning to group sessions.