The Premier League and English Football League have announced that all footballing activity has been postponed until at least 3rd April.
On Thursday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that there would not yet be a ban on large gatherings, which has been a step taken by other countries across Europe and the rest of the world.
Following that statement, the Premier League on Thursday night announced that this weekends fixtures, including AFC Bournemouth hosting Crystal Palace would take place.
However, shortly after that statement was made Arsenal announced that head coach Mikel Arteta had been confirmed with the Coronavirus and Chelsea announced player Callum Hudson-Odoi had also tested positive for the disease.
This appeared to change the stance of the footballing authorities and following a video conferencing call between Premier League clubs and authorities football has been suspended.
The Premier League, FA, EFL and WSL have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 13, 2020
In a joint statement on behalf of the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said…
“Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.
“In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.”
This move sees AFC Bournemouth’s fixtures with Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers have been postponed.
Focus quickly shifts to how the current 2019/20 footballing campaigns are concluded, how champions are crowned, how relegation and promotion places are decided etc.
The statement concluded…
Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.
In this fast-moving environment, further updates will be provided when appropriate.
Meanwhile, at Dean Court, AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four members of the Cherries staff are currently in self-isolation.
Members of the Bournemouth squad and team management have shown signs of Coronavirus symptoms. They are now self-isolating…
Latest on SSN as we get it.
— Mark McAdam (@markmcadamtv) March 13, 2020
— Kris Temple (@kristemple) March 13, 2020
Update from Cherries. Players were sent home after the Premier League announcement today and are not due back at the training ground until Monday, March 23. #afcb
— Tom Crocker (@TomCrockerEcho) March 13, 2020
I’d suspend the season now.
Finish it once we’re able to.
Hold Euros next summer.
Next season would start late, but scrapping European competitions next season (and perhaps League Cup/EFL trophy) would mitigate that and enable the European leagues to catch up the calendar by summer 2021.
What happens with the possibility of the season extending beyond the end of June and the issue of out of contract players is another matter, but something that could be got round. – Join the conversation, click here.