Premier League set to discuss potential resolutions to fixture crisis

Premier League clubs will gather via conference call on Thursday morning to discuss fixtures and finances amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Top-flight action is suspended until April 4 at the earliest, and measures around social distancing mean no clubs will be present in person for the meeting.

UEFA’s gathering of football stakeholders on Tuesday ended with an outline commitment to completing domestic competitions across Europe by June 30, and the decision to postpone Euro 2020 to the summer of 2021 has given competition organisers like the Premier League greater wriggle room.

It is understood that no decisions will be taken on what would happen in the event of it becoming impossible for the competition to restart, with the focus primarily on how the fixture schedule could be completed.

Match day revenue is clearly still an important consideration even at Premier League level, but far less so than in the EFL, so clubs are likely to be more open to the idea of playing matches behind closed doors if it is deemed safe to do so over the next month or two.

Clubs are expected to share their experiences so far of how the pandemic has affected them financially, and the implications of a longer-term suspension of competition.

The league is understood to be in ongoing dialogue with its broadcast partners, whose schedules have been decimated by the widespread cancellation of sporting events.

Mikel Arteta is understood to be in good spirits after testing positive for coronavirus
Mikel Arteta is understood to be in good spirits after testing positive for coronavirus (John Walton/PA)

The news that Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta had tested positive for coronavirus late last Thursday night was one of the key developments which led to the league being suspended until early next month.

The Gunners gave an update to say that the squad remained on course to return to their London Colney training base next Tuesday.

Arteta is understood to be feeling better and in good spirits.

Chelsea staff who had close personal contact with Callum Hudson-Odoi, who also tested positive for Covid-19, are still self-isolating but the training ground at Cobham is operational.

Blues boss Frank Lampard said on Tuesday that Hudson-Odoi was making good progress and “almost feels his usual self”.

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