The Premier League is working on a plan which could see the current season resumed behind closed doors as early as May, in order to complete the campaign by 12 July and avoid any television contract rebates.
Elite football in the United Kingdom was suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak and the competition is currently postponed until 30 April, but details of the restart will be discussed by all 20 clubs in a meeting on Friday.
The Premier League is thought to be working to conclude the campaign by 12 July to avoid breaking contractual agreements with TV broadcasters which would result in clubs being forced to pay significant fees in rebates.
According to the Daily Mail, under the terms of the TV contracts the deadline to finish this season is 16 July and if the campaign is not completed by then, Sky Sports, BT Sport and the international rights-holders could demand rebates worth around £762m.
The £762m figure is the amount that Premier League clubs share from global TV deals - although this sum is not distributed equally. So, should the season fail to conclude by the cut-off date, it's believed that top clubs will be required to pay larger fees than sides lower down the table.
With teams still to play nine or ten matches each, a restart at the beginning of May would allow for leeway if clubs are hit by more cases of the virus.
However, finishing the season by 12 July may avoid breaking TV contracts, but for professionals in the final year of their player contracts with their clubs, 30 June is the date they officially become free agents.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane has called for the season to be scrapped if the campaign goes beyond the end of June due to the situation with player contracts but this eventuality is not touched on in the latest Premier League plans.
While talks of a change to the league's format has also been suggested, how the campaign will conclude is still very much up in the air. It seems in this time of crisis the only certainty is uncertainty.
Source : 90min