The rapid outbreak of coronavirus in the UK and across Europe has forced the major football leagues to be suspended for an indefinite period of time. The Premier League, which remains suspended until April 30, is reportedly in serious discussions with their officials and the clubs about the fate of the current season. While the FA announced that the 2019/20 season has been extended indefinitely, they could be forced to take some important decisions, especially with their TV rights deal in jeopardy.
According to Mirror Sport, Premier League bosses are discussing showing some of their games free-to-air in order to ensure that fans do not show up at the stadiums. It is reported that the league is contemplating playing their remaining nine matchdays behind closed doors to finish the current season as early as June.
This could mean that all the matches will have to be aired on Premier League's TV partners for the supporters. However, Mirror Sport reports the TV bosses have accepted that all the matches cannot be aired live on their channels. Several low-profile Premier League matches could potentially be left out by the broadcasters.
The Premier League could choose to show some games free-to-air while the bigger fixtures will be telecast on the channels of their TV partners. While nothing is confirmed as of now, it is reported that league bosses are discussing several ways to navigate past the country-wide lockdown in the UK.
As mentioned earlier, the league is scheduled to return on April 30. However, the return date is likely to be pushed back further with the virus rapidly spreading in the country. Under such circumstances, it is believed that the Premier League is desperate to conclude the current season as it does not want to lose out on the lucrative TV rights for the season.
A statement released by the league on March 27 read, 'The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions. The leagues will not recommence until 30 April at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow.'
It remains unknown when the league will resume its regular activities. However, multiple reports have suggested that officials of the league and the 20 clubs will conduct a video conference this week to discuss a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances.