Premier League clubs have become increasingly concerned that the foreign stars will not be able to return to the UK whenever the season resumes. Several top-flight players have left before the country was brought under complete lockdown amid the growing number of cases of coronavirus in the UK. It is believed that travel restrictions in several countries courtesy lockdowns and fears might not make the Premier League return anytime soon.
It is reported that Chelsea winger Willian was one of the Premier League players to fly back to Brazil. The player was reportedly granted permission by the Blues to fly back merely on compassionate grounds. According to the Mirror, the clubs have raised concerns that several such players might find it difficult to return to the UK once the Premier League return date is announced.
Premier League clubs hope to resume training on May 18, while the remaining fixtures might be played behind closed doors from June 8. Meanwhile, flights in the UK are still permitted, though restricted to essential travel amidst coronavirus in the UK. However, some players might find it difficult to leave their respective countries as many have banned flight travel.
The reports come after UEFA on Thursday asserted that if the top European leagues are unable to finish their season, then the spots for the next season’s European club competitions shall be decided on sporting merit. This method probably involves a table to be decided on a points-per-game ratio.
As per this method, the current top four on the Premier League points table - Liverpool, Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea will qualify for the Champions League next season. Manchester United and Sheffield United will occupy the Europa League spots, while Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur might miss out on European competitions entirely if the season ends abruptly.