Premier League clubs agree to restart season

Miguel Delaney
Getty

The Premier League is set to return on 17 June with Manchester City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield United, after the 20 clubs agreed to come back that week in Thursday’s ‘D-Day’ videoconference.

While the official date proposed and agreed upon is 20 June, the competition has to complete those two games in hand first, and it is also possible that another fixture – potentially Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United – is played on Friday 19 June.

It was also agreed that all 92 remaining matches broadcast live in the UK by the Premier League’s existing broadcast partners: Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime.

The Independent has been told that date was put into a proposal for Thursday’s videoconference, and was one of the first items discussed. A majority of clubs expressed their approval.

In a statement, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17 June.

Spurs vs Manchester United will be one of the first games back (Getty)

“But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.

“Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.

“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.

“We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019/20 season.”

It is unlikely that everything will be sorted on Thursday, but there is a hope that the 20 June restart can be fixed by the day’s end.

The plans to restart the season, which has been suspended indefinitely since March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, have accelerated in recent days.

Clubs unanimously agreed to a return to contact training on Wednesday with the vast majority of players now comfortable with the health and safety protocols that are set to be in place.

The league’s testing procedure continues with the latest round returning just four positive results from 1,008 players and staff members tested.

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