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Government wants Premier League back ASAP as sign the country is coming back to normal – PL Chief

7 months ago
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It scarcely seems believable that only 13 days ago Premier League football was still been played.

Leicester thrashing Villa 4-0 on Monday 9 March and none of us having a clue really of what was to come.

We knew of course that the threat of the Coronavirus was here but until something really impacts on your daily life, for your average man/woman in the street it doesn’t completely sink in.

Of course, rather than being something that is mainly happening elsewhere, the virus has absolutely changed the way we are going about our lives in Newcastle and beyond.

One part of that is that Premier League football is suspended, initially the 3 April was announced as the very first possible time it might return but everybody accepted that this was simply a temporary holding statement. Sure enough, that date has now become the 30 April.

An interesting new interview with one Premier League Chief executive, Southampton’s Martin Semmens.

He says that only when it is safe and right to do so, the Government would then like to get Premier League football back ASAP.

The Southampton CEO explains that it is a case of morale for the people and will be a milestone in showing things are on the turn and we are edging back to some kind of normal: ‘because we are entertainment and a sign that the country is coming back to normal. If people are home for another month and Premier League football is on the TV every day that can only be a good thing.’

It looks all but certain that if/when football finally returns to try and finish the current season, games would be played behind closed doors.

Little doubt that is it were to prove possible come May/June to have Premier League football on TV, it would be one small step forward.

Martin Semmens talking to BBC Radio Solent:

“We have to do what is right and safe for the general public.

“When everybody is safe and we’re not using up NHS and police resources, 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.

“If people are home for another month and Premier League football is on the TV every day that can only be a good thing.

“Not because we are more essential than the NHS but because we can give people entertainment and show that we are fighting back.

“We hope to get the league done by the end of June because as soon as you go past that date, there are legal challenges.

“If we ended up playing until 15 July [for example] and you had to extend a player’s contract by two weeks, convincing a player to play two more weeks of football and get paid nicely to do it, I don’t believe that will be a substantial challenge.

“The challenge is making sure we don’t have a knock-on effect to other seasons and make football compromised for years to come.”

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