The English Premier League has been suspended indefinitely following a coronavirus crisis meeting on Friday.
At a meeting of Premier League Shareholders today, the chiefs pledged to restart the season - but only when it is safe to do so.
The way forward was decided after the 20 Premier League clubs took part in a video conference. They also discussed ways to respond to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.
“The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time,” reads a statement by Premier League.
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The chiefs said that any return to play will only be with the full support of government and when medical experts give a go-ahead.
The sporting and financial implications for Premier League clubs as well as for The FA, EFL and National League were also considered in the meeting.
Due to the continuing losses in the 2019/20 season, Premier League clubs agreed to consult players regarding reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of total annual remuneration.
“This guidance will be kept under constant review as circumstances change. The League will be in regular contact with the PFA, and the union and the LMA will join a meeting which will be held tomorrow between the League, players and club representatives.”
Discussions also took place regarding financial relief for clubs in the short term and while there is no solution, measures are to be put in place to immediately deal with the impact of falling cash flow.
The league unanimously voted to advance funds of £125 million (Sh16 billion) to the EFL and National League as it is aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering at this time.
Premier League in its fight against coronavirus pledged £20 million (Sh2.6 billion) to support the National Health Service (NHS), communities, families and vulnerable groups.
This includes a direct financial contribution to the NHS and funds to enable clubs to refocus their efforts and develop significant outreach programmes to help communities.
This funding will enable both immediate and longer-term support during the crisis.
Premier League, one of the most competitive football leagues in the world, vowed it will continue promoting public health messages to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the NHS, the wide reach and appeal of the Premier League and our clubs will continue to be used to promote important public health messaging throughout this crisis.
“The Premier League would like to reiterate that the thoughts of all our clubs are with all those directly affected by COVID-19,” the statement further added.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to an almost complete shutdown of professional sports in the world.
The virus, having originated from Wuhan in China in December last year, continues to wreak havoc in the sporting world.
Football has been at the epicentre of this deadly virus that continues to destroy people irrespective of their race, colour, and creed or where they come from.
According to official numbers on Friday (03/04/2020), there are currently 1,067,324 coronavirus cases in the world with 56,729 succumbing to the deadly virus. 226,038 have recovered from Covid-19.
World Health Organization (WHO)
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.