EXCLUSIVE: Premier League football’s return faces a problem with a lack of TV TRUCKS – with Sky News’ needs for covering the death of the Queen putting a strain on Sky Sports’ resources
- The Premier League could face a second consecutive blank weekend
- Fixtures at all levels of football were postponed following the Queen’s death
- Now policing resources will be stretched by the Queen’s funeral in London
- That could lead to several fixtures being postponed across the coming weekend
- And an additional factor is that Sky Sports don’t have enough broadcast trucks
- Sky News’ blanket coverage of the Queen’s death is taking up resources
The return of Premier League football could be jeopardised by a shortage of TV trucks caused by the 24/7 coverage being given to Her Majesty the Queen’s funeral.
Sportsmail has learned that the Premier League’s main rights holder Sky Sports are running out of the outside broadcast trucks required to deliver live coverage as many are being used their sister channel, Sky News.
Sky Sports are due to televise eight live matches across football next weekend, beginning with Aston Villa v Southampton in the Premier League on Friday evening followed by Tottenham v Leicester the next day, and Brentford v Arsenal and Chelsea v Liverpool on Sunday.
The return of the Premier League could be complicated by a lack of television trucks to enable Sky Sports to broadcast the games
Sky’s resources are stretched because of their news channel’s blanket coverage of the Queen’s funeral over the weekend
Chelsea vs Liverpool is one of the weekend’s Premier League games at risk of postponement
In addition Sky have two live Championship matches on Saturday, plus Scottish Premier League and Women’s Super League fixtures the following day.
Sky News are providing unprecedented coverage of events across the country building up to the Queen’s funeral next Monday, which has put a strain on their resources.
The lack of TV trucks is understood to have emerged as an additional complicating factor during talks over football’s resumption following last weekend’s shutdown, which will continue this morning with a briefing from government.
The strain on police resources is the biggest obstacle to Premier League games taking place as planned next weekend, as up to 10,000 police officers will be deployed in London to manage what has been described as an unprecedented security operation in the capital ahead of the funeral.
Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully on Thursday last week at the age of 96
Pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville cover a live Premier League game on Sky Sports
Policing levels are the main concern for the top-flight games because of the Queen’s funeral
Officers from across the country will be redeployed to the capital so it is not just London fixtures that are at risk of being postponed.
There are major doubts over whether Leeds’ trip to Manchester United will take place next Sunday as a large police presence will be required at Old Trafford, while Chelsea v Liverpool on the same day is also deemed a high-risk fixture.
There are doubts over Arsenal’s Europa League clash with PSV Eindhoven taking place on Thursday night after Rangers’ Champions League fixture with Napoli was put back 24 hours until Wednesday, with away fans banned.
UEFA have also forbidden Rangers fans to attend the return match in Italy next month, for ‘sporting fairness’ reasons.