English Premier League 2019-2020

Manchester City-Arsenal match set for tomorrow postponed after many of the players made contact with Olympiakos' owner (who also owns Nottingham Forest in the EFL Championship), who tested positive after attending Olympiakos' match at Emirates against Arsenal 13 days ago.
 
As far as the Premier League schedule itself, this weekend was the only weekend that there were going to be a full Premier League match schedule. There were going to be a handful of games next weekend with the FA Cup matches at the same time and then the international break the final weekend of March.
 
The EFL Championship, League One, and League Two, which are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tier of English football, are working towards tentatively resuming their seasons on June 6th behind closed doors.

The Premier League clubs are set to hold a video conference on Friday with plans to discuss and outline a tentative schedule for resuming the remainder of their season.
 
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If football can return safely, then Premier League games will be played at neutral venues behind closed doors per sources that have spoken to ESPN. These venues will include current Premier League stadiums, Wembley Stadium, and another unnamed ground. In this scenario, Liverpool would be unable to clinch the title at Anfield. The Merseyside Derby would be played at Wembley or Old Trafford with a match like Spurs vs. Manchester United being played at St. James' Park (Newcastle United) or St. Mary's Stadium (Southampton). While nothing is securely set in stone, if the UK relaxes their current lockdown measures on Thursday, then early June would be the targeted date for the return of the Premier League.
 
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Newcastle United's prospective new ownership group is reportedly looking to hire a high-profile manager to replace their current manager Steve Bruce and one of the names they may be going after is former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. A potential wrench in the deal would happen if the new owners decide to hire Poch before the end of this month. If that happens, then Newcastle United would have to pay Spurs £12.5 million in compensation. This is due to that being the amount of money that Spurs paid Poch when he was sacked and as part of the buyout any team that would hire Poch within 6 months of the sacking would have to pay £12.5 million to Spurs. If the deal is approved but they don't hire Poch until closer to the prospective June date that has been discussed as the return for Premier League football, then Newcastle United wouldn't have to pay Spurs anything.
 
Of course I just now read this after seeing that a few of the teams currently in or near the relegation zone (namely Aston Villa and West Ham United) seem to be against the resumption of the season at neutral sites as they are claiming it would undermine the integrity of the league as some teams will have had more games than others. 14 of the 20 Premier League sides have to approve a return so if 7 teams vote against it, then the Premier League won't return this season, at least not in the short term.
 
UK government announced their Covid recovery plan today which would permit the Premier League to return behind closed doors, though still broadcast, as of June 1.

One sticking point now though is that more than half the Premier League clubs have voted against playing the remaining matches at neutral stadiums and so now the Premier League must convince the UK government to allow the matches to be played at the home stadiums of the different Premier League sides.
 
Just some further detail on all this:

Premier League set to resume June 17 with Manchester City-Arsenal and Aston Villa-Sheffield United to be the first fixtures played as all teams will have played 29 matches once those are played. The Premier League clubs "Project Restart" was given the green light at a shareholders' meeting today. All matches will be held without fans but it has not yet been confirmed whether they will take place at neutral venues.

The Premier League's goal is to complete all fixtures by August 1. Once that's done, then the FA Cup can be completed with the FA Cup final expected to take place August 8 along with the remaining Europa and Champions League fixtures, assuming international travel is allowed at that point.
 
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Schedules have been announced for the first 3 rounds of fixtures with the potential Liverpool title-clinching Merseyside Derby on June 21 and Liverpool's match at the Etihad against Manchester City on July 2 the only matches with venues listed as TBD. The decision for the Merseyside Derby won't be made until next week as the match was originally scheduled to be played at Goodison Park but security concerns have made the decision for the venue to be delayed. Among the issues that Goodison Park has includes Victorian housing surrounding 3 sides of the ground, which would make it virtually impossible for police to impose an exclusion zone. The facilities inside the stadium aren't much better as there are narrow tunnels and small changing rooms, which would mean a visiting team like Liverpool would likely have to change in portable buildings set up in the parking lot.

One other thing of note will be how some matches will be viewed here in the states. Seven of the matches, mainly with lower table sides, in those 3 weeks, will air on Peacock, the new streaming service from NBC, in addition to NBC Sports Gold. Where this becomes an issue is that Peacock is only available at this time to Comcast Xfinity subscribers who currently subscribe to either X1 or Flex. Peacock Premium, which is what you'll have to watch Premier League matches through, does not become available to the general public until July 15. You can get NBC Sports Gold for the remainder of the season through July 31 for $9.99 but that comes with the auto renewal for next season at $64.99.
 
Couple bits of news today:

-The potential Liverpool title-clinching Merseyside Derby will be allowed to take place at Goodison Park after the teams got the okay to do so from local officials.
-The Court of Arbitration for Sport concluded their hearing today on Manchester City's appeal of their 2-year ban from European competition with the decision expected sometime in the first half of July.
 
There was a bit of controversy in today's first Premier League match as Sheffield United were denied a potential opening goal in the match:


Hawk-Eye, the company who operates the VAR technology the Premier League uses, did apologize for the error after the match and stated that all seven of their cameras monitoring the goal were obscured by either the goalkeeper, a defender, or the goalpost. They did also state that this error was the first that had occurred in more than 9,000 matches using the system.
 
There was a bit of controversy in today's first Premier League match as Sheffield United were denied a potential opening goal in the match:


Hawk-Eye, the company who operates the VAR technology the Premier League uses, did apologize for the error after the match and stated that all seven of their cameras monitoring the goal were obscured by either the goalkeeper, a defender, or the goalpost. They did also state that this error was the first that had occurred in more than 9,000 matches using the system.
I don't blame Hawk-Eye/Goal line technology, or Michael Oliver but if we have VAR then they have to stop the play and review it with other non-goal line technology.... that was an easy call.

Now as a tottenham fan, I am glad Sheffield United didn't win.