By Paul Nicholson
March 23 – With Europe’s leagues desperate to find a way of resuming some form of play calendar discussions in Italy are suggesting a resumption in May, while the Premier League is reportedly reviewing plans to resume on June 1.
Italian sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, speaking on national TV, said a May return could be possible.
“I believe that Serie A can return on 3rd May,” he said. “Then we will evaluate whether it’s played behind closed doors, or open to the public.
“This formula will then be added to international competitions, like the Champions League and Europa League.”
Italian clubs have been discussing proposals with Serie A in an attempt find way to avoid what has been estimated by Deloitte as a potential €720 million league-wide financial meltdown and without having to go to the sports ministry for more help. One proposal has been for a relaxation of advertising rules covering betting.
“We have suspended all tax obligations until 30th May for all sports federations and for all other sports activities,” said Spadafora.
“We have suspended the rents of all state-owned structures and we have provided a one-off payment of €600 for tens of thousands of sports collaborators all around Italy and who work in small Italian companies.”
Premier League seeks six-week window
In England, which is further behind the Coronavirus curve than Italy, Premier League clubs are looking for a six-week window to complete the nine outstanding rounds and the FA Cup.
A June 1 restart is one proposal with all matches to be played behind closed doors. This would give the Premier League the opportunity to complete its broadcast obligations.
UEFA had originally hoped a mid-May resumption of European competition, a point echoed by LaLiga president Javier Tebas at the weekend who said if that was possible most leagues could finish by June 30.
However, a joint statement from LaLiga and the Spanish football federation todays confirmed the continued postponement of all professional football, until health authorities confirm that they can be resumed without posing a health risk.
“The Monitoring Commission established by the current RFEF-LaLiga Coordination Agreement AGREES the suspension of professional football competitions until the authorities of the Government of Spain and the General Administration of the State consider that they can be resumed without creating any health risk,” said the joint statement.
“Both the RFEF and LaLiga wish to express our greatest public gratitude to all those who are dedicating their best efforts to provide essential services to the Spanish people and also share our condolences for all the deceased and a warm embrace from the world of soccer to the many families that are losing loved ones.”
Perhaps the big takeaway – as highlighted in their own statement – is that at last LaLiga and the RFEF have found something to agree on.
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