The Premier League have announced that all matches will be suspended until the weekend of April 4, 2020 in light of growing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.
That means that there will be no fixtures in Gameweek 30 and Gameweek 31.
That round of action is scheduled to take place after the next international break, although Euro 2020 play-off matches and friendlies are at risk of postponement in light of CONMEBOL already cancelling World Cup qualifiers.
As things stand, no decision has been taken on what the rest of the 2019/20 campaign will look like, or if the season will be declared null and void.
It looks as if the situation will be reviewed again as we approach Gameweek 32 next month while postponed fixtures will be rearranged when possible.
“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.” – Premier League statement
We will endeavour to bring you a breakdown of the exact impact on FPL as and when we have it.
What does this mean for FFScout?
As a result of the Premier League’s unprecedented, but not unexpected, announcement, we will cease all coverage of the build-up to Gameweek 30 with immediate effect.
We will spend the next few days assessing the situation and working out what content we can produce for the foreseeable future.
In that time, the production of articles, videos and podcasts will temporarily experience a shift in focus until we know more about what the future holds for the Premier League and Fantasy Football.
Over the next few days, we will endeavour to bring you as much news as is relevant to the situation and our focus on FPL strategy will, in line with the gravity of the situation, be stripped back.
We will be temporarily suspending the FFS Cup and Head-to-Head leagues and making a decision further down the line on how best to proceed with the competitions.
What is the latest on coronavirus in football?
The news of the Premier League’s suspension comes in the wake of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta testing positive for COVID-19 in the late hours of Thursday evening.
The Premier League had originally planned to see all Gameweek 30 matches proceed as scheduled but the news coming out of the Emirates Stadium seems to have forced their hand.
Not only has Arteta gone into self-isolation, but the entire Arsenal squad has also done the same, following contact with their manager while he has had COVID-19.
Naturally, this put the Gunners’ trip to Brighton on Saturday at extreme risk, and later on Thursday evening, it was officially postponed by the Seagulls.
Meanwhile, over the last 14 days, Arsenal’s squad and manager have also been in contact with Portsmouth and West Ham in the FA Cup and Premier League respectively.
Since then, Chelsea midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi (£5.3m) has tested positive for COVID-19 and gone into self-isolation, while his team-mates have also entered into the same protocol.
There have also been subsequent updates from Watford, Everton and Bournemouth on Friday morning revealing a number of Premier League players have gone into self-isolation.
The wider football world will now look ahead to Tuesday when UEFA will convene a video conference between the 55 governing bodies it presides over to discuss the future of European football and the fate of the upcoming 2020 European Championships.
What to do if you think you might have coronavirus*
If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:
- stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
- do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
- use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next
The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help.
* Information taken from the official NHS website.