The future of the 2019/20 Premier League season is set to be reviewed at another emergency meeting next week.
The top division of England’s football pyramid, as well as all EFL leagues, has been suspended until April 4 in light of the recent outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom.
The Premier League postponed all matches from Gameweeks 30 and 31 on Friday and explained that there would be further decisions made about the rest of the campaign in due course.
Thursday, March 19, has been pencilled in for their next emergency meeting on the subject, so Fantasy Premier League managers may want to stay tuned for further updates then.
However, there are a number of other key dates for our diaries before then.
Tuesday will see UEFA host a video conference with all 55 national federations under its jurisdiction to decide the future of the Champions League, Europa League and, crucially Euro 2020.
The fate of this summer’s major international tournament is expected to hold the key to what options Europe’s top leagues will have when attempting to complete the 2019/20 season.
Fantasy managers should also pay close attention to any updates coming from UK prime minister Boris Johnson in the coming days.
It was reported on Saturday morning that the British government are contemplating a u-turn on their decision not to ban mass gatherings, such as sporting fixtures.
If such legislation does come into force in the coming days, it could well extend beyond the Premier League’s current return-date of April 4, although, at this stage, we do not know what the government’s exact plans will be.
Furthermore, England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty claimed that the peak of COVID-19 outbreak in the UK is likely to occur in May and June.
Meanwhile, another FPL name was added to the list of those that had tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, this time Wolves forward Patrick Cutrone (£5.5m), currently on loan at Italian side Fiorentina.
That news came on a surreal day for Fantasy managers and football fans worldwide, as we were left with no matches to watch other than non-league fixtures.
Southampton made light of the situation on their official club Twitter, attempting to play a game of noughts and crosses with Gameweek 30 opponent Norwich City.
The Canaries’ media team were conspicuous by their absence but Manchester City dropped by to accept Southampton’s invitation of a competitive match.
Naturally, the two sides drew their inaugural noughts and crosses bout.
Elsewhere, Saturday was a day for the executive members of football clubs in the Premier League to have their say.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber was one of those, who expressed his concern over when the Premier League could resume.
“We’ve got several teams in self-isolation, which makes it difficult to think about that date. Those players have not just got to self-isolate for 14 days, they’ve got to get themselves close to match fitness again, which could take another seven to 14 days. So we’ve got a number of complexities here, which go way beyond thinking of the finances.” – Paul Barber
Meanwhile, West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady caused some controversy as she made early claims that the 2019/20 Premier League season would have to be declared null and void.
“There is no dodging the possibility that all levels in the EFL, as well as the Premier League, will have to be cancelled and this season declared null and void because if the players can’t play the games can’t go ahead.” – Karren Brady
Also, Wolves chairman Jeff Shi has called on supporters to do everything they can to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I appeal to our supporters to follow our lead, and to stay as safe as possible during what will no doubt be a very testing time. Please don’t underestimate the threat of this virus, to you or those around you, and employ best practice to limit the spread, including good hygiene and proper social distancing, which are both key.” – Jeff Shi
In better news, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, who was the first Premier League figure to contract COVID-19, has revealed that he is doing much better.
“Thanks for your words and support. We’re all facing a huge and unprecedented challenge. Everyone’s health is all that matters right now. Protect each other by following the guidelines. We’ll come through this together.” – Mikel Arteta
For more details on how the recent suspension of the top-flight will affect Fantasy Premier League CLICK HERE.