FA chairman Greg Clarke has admitted his concern that the 2019/20 Premier League season may not be finished at all in a statement released today.
Clarke expresses that it is in everyone’s best interests to get the remaining fixtures played, but that ‘human life’ ultimately takes priority.
In addition, it’s also emerged from FIFA today that the summer transfer window looks set to be moved so it falls between the end of the current campaign and the start of next season, with plans to extend player contracts also highlighted for those whose deals were set to expire in June.
Firstly, here’s what FA chairman has had to say on the potential return of Premier League football:
“We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit,”
“However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the Government directs as the pandemic unfolds.”
He also speaks of his concern about English football as a whole, in particular the lower league clubs, and how the financial implications caused by COVID-19 could ‘decimate’ the game.
“We must have a plan to ensure that English football is not decimated should this season be lost and next season blighted.
“We hope we do not need this plan as we are all determined to finish the professional football season, however we would be fools not to develop such a contingency plan.
“Those that lost their clubs because English football did not rise to the challenge would rightly judge us harshly.”
As previously highlighted, Dykes comments come on a day when FIFA have agreed to push the transfer window back, alongside extending players contracts that were meant to end in June and delaying the arrival of scheduled signings.
This means pending transfers such as Hakim Ziyech’s move to Chelsea will be postponed until the end of the season has finished.
From a Newcastle United viewpoint, this would mean that the likes of Matty Longstaff and Javier Manquillo will still be eligible to play for the club.