Southampton chief executive hopeful for June Premier League finish
LONDON – Southampton's chief executive Martin Semmens has suggested the Premier League could return and finish by June while Britain continues its coronavirus lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has closed all schools, leisure centres and other places where social contact is likely to take place in the country's response to tackling the pandemic.
The Premier League announced on Thursday that there will be no football until at least April 30 and have extended the season indefinitely with nine rounds left to play.
Semmens says that clubs "hope to get the season done" by the end of June, even if that means fans staying at home.
"The government would like us to get back to playing because we are entertainment and a sign that the country is coming back to normal," he told the BBC.
"If people are home for another month and Premier League football is on the TV every day that can only be a good thing."
Some players will be out of contract by 30 June and that is why UEFA recommended that deadline after postponing Euro 2020 until next year.
Semmens added that this situation is resolvable for clubs and players.
"We hope to get the league done by the end of June," he added.
"As soon as you go past that date, there are legal challenges.
"If we ended up playing until 15 July and you had to extend a player's contract by two weeks, convincing a player to play two more weeks of football – I don't believe that will be a substantial challenge."DPA