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EPL eyeing ambition return in May

Premier League eyeing ‘ambitious’ return in May in order to avoid nearly $1BN in losses

March 31, 2020 By Ali M.
The English top-flight look to minimize the financial devastation coronavirus will have on the competition.

As is true with almost every single top-flight league in Europe, the Premier League has been brought to a hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. And as is true with the other domestic competitions, the English top-flight are facing huge financial losses due to the COVID-19 crisis.

According to the Daily Mail, the competition’s organizers are eyeing a return to action in the first week of May, a plan which is labeled as “ambitious” by the British publication due to the current situation. Games would be staged behind closed doors and the goal would be to wrap the campaign up by July 12.

The reason for this is due to broadcasting deals, worth $3.7BN per year. The current deal with Sky Sports and BT Sport, the current rights holders, state that the season must end by July 16 and should the Premier League exceed that cut-off point, the broadcasters could be in-line to pocket $943M in rebate.

Sky Sports and BT Sport, who are losing subscribers by the masses due to the lack of Premier League football, demand clarity over the remainder of the season. The organizers are thus eager to resume in May but this plan would need to be approved by “the Government, public health bodies and the PFA”. This remains a doubt given that Europe as a whole are yet to rein in the devastation caused by COVID-19.

Other changes could be introduced, such as scrapping relegation and promotion this season, which might spark a legal battle with the top sides in the Championship standings. Squad sizes could be increased from 25 to 29 and teams could be permitted to field youth teams if members of the first-team become compromised.

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