The ongoing suspension of play in the English Premier League means we must endure yet another weekend without football. But the league is hopeful of a return in mid-June, via a plan that would involve holding all matches behind closed doors at a limited number of neutral sites.
Indeed, one option under discussion is holding all matches at just one location: St. George’s Park, home of England’s men’s and women’s national teams. The complex has 13 outdoor pitches that could be used for training and matches, as well as an on-site 228 room hotel where players and staff could be kept in quarantine after testing them for coronavirus (although additional accommodations would probably be necessary as well).
A mid-June resumption would mean that the remaining games could be completed before the start of the 2020-21 campaign (how that season will be accomplished is another story, but we’ll burn that bridge when we get there, right?). It would also offer the benefit of a full season as the basis to determine which teams are relegated and which teams qualify for Europe (albeit with some teams seeing key home fixtures relocated during the run-in). Fans and players alike would also get full-season stats by which to measure records set, contract performance clauses, and such niceties as the golden boot.
My fingers are definitely crossed that this plan, or something like it, will eventually allow us to get back to our normal routine of whiling away weekends watching EPL matches all day. But in the meantime, we’ll continue to meet here to enjoy a tipple or two in the company of our friends at NMA.