Not only might the 2019-20 season of the Premier League be held behind closed doors (at best) or not be finished at all (at worst), but clubs now have to prepare for the possibility of the next season of 2020-21 also being played with doors shut and no audiences.
Premier League teams are dedicated to finishing the regular season this year, although it has revealed that that would only be feasible unless 8-10 neutral venues are chosen to host the remaining games.
The ‘Operation Restart’ document was at the forefront of Friday’s last conference call attended by all 20 parties. The next meeting is scheduled to take place following the second lockout policy assessment by the British government on May 7.
June 12 has been debated as a potential return date but the definitive determination will remain with the government and will depend on the next lockout steps.
Even as clubs negotiate ideas for finishing this season behind closed doors at neutral venues, they have already started to ponder the effect of playing the season 2020-21 without spectators, Sky Sports reports.
Meanwhile, other teams assume that as the next window opens, one of the first items they should do is prepare for investing little or no money on transfers.
The Premier League claimed failure to finish this season would cost more than £1bn to its 20 teams, but competing behind closed doors next season is expected to have much more dramatic impact on club finances.
Premier League teams earn much of their income from television profit and, after that, their revenue falls mostly from matchday profits and corporate deals. Both those sales sources will be decreased drastically if games were held over a full season behind closed doors.