The Premier League are reportedly working on a ridiculously ambitious plan to resume the season in early May in order to be finished by mid-July and avoid up to £762m in TV refunds.
There was talk on Monday of playing the games through June and July and keeping footballers and staff in ‘isolation camps’, but these new reports in the Daily Mail suggest there is an appetite for an even earlier start despite the country being in lockdown.
The Government, public health bodies and the PFA would have to agree to the ambitious plans, which would give footballers almost no time to regain match fitness; no club is currently training.
According to this latest report: ‘A restart in May is seen as vital as that is when the clubs are due to receive their final tranche of television money for the season, without which many will struggle to pay the players’ wages.’
There are discussions about possible rule changes, including the waiving of regulations about fielding weakened teams as key players could be ruled out by coronavirus. There could also be an argument for temporarily increasing squad sizes so recalled loan players could also feature.
If the government do give this scheme the go-ahead, matches would be staged with a skeleton broadcasting crew, minimal security and no crowd or media. It would purely be a game of football to fulfil fixtures and avoid clubs getting into financial difficulties.