Champions League and Europa League matches could take place at weekends in the new measures put forward by UEFA, as football does its best to try to save the suspended 2019/20 season from coronavirus collapse.
Top-flight leagues across Europe met with UEFA on Tuesday and agreed that they would do all they can in order to finish the season by an agreed preferred date of June 30.
European football’s governing body chose that date because it is one that is tied into many contracts, transfer agreements and rights.
But their addition that the qualifying rounds for the 2020/21 Champions League and Europa League may need to be adapted suggests that they could be flexible.
Finishing their current seasons remains the overwhelming priority of the top leagues, with the Premier League set to meet on Thursday to discuss their next moves following UEFA’s decisions.
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Tuesday’s cancellation of the continent-wide Euro 2020 finals has opened up some space to allow seasons to finish if possible.
As such, Premier League matches could find themselves taking place on the same day as matches in Champions League as unprecedented new measures come into force.
UEFA have previously been strict on not allowing domestic and European matches to clash as they seek to prioritise the top-level European competitions.
But is now an increasing sense of ‘anything goes’ as all is being done to ensure that seasons can finish if possible to avoid the potentially messy knock-on effects.
A UEFA statement spoke of “Possible limitations or drops of current exclusive calendar slots, potentially resulting in the scheduling of domestic league matches in mid-week and scheduling of UEFA club competitions matches on weekends.”
The Premier League’s 20 clubs each have either nine or 10 matches of their league season remaining.
UEFA announced on Tuesday that this summer’s European Championships would be delayed until 2021 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and that they want club seasons to be finished
The Premier League and other top-flight European football leagues have been told by UEFA that they want the current season finished by June 30.
Leagues across the continent have been suspended amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic which has led to huge disruption in daily lives across the globe.
At a meeting on Tuesday, UEFA agreed to postpone next summer’s Euro 2020 finals by a year in order to free up space for leagues across Europe to finish their domestic campaigns.
That remains the overwhelming priority of both the leagues and the vast majority of their clubs, although time is of the essence due to the severity of COVID-19 and the fact that many contracts and transfer deals are tied into that June 30 date.
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UEFA have also agreed to move the Champions League and Europa League finals back to late June on Tuesday, while the Premier League have agreed to meet on Thursday in order to thrash out what they plan to do next.
“We all know that this terrible virus that is all across Europe made football and all life in Europe quite impossible. We knew we had to stop the competitions,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
“We think postponing the Euros was the only way to give a chance to all the national leagues and all the club competitions to finish their competitions.
“That is not sure for now but we should now think about the health of the fans and the players.
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“We also have to think about football as a whole, the whole ecosystem of football.
“That is why we have decided today to postpone the Euros and we have full, 100 per cent support of all 55 national associations, the European leagues, the European Club Association and FIFPro.”
However, European football’s governing body are aware that the situation is fluid, and that if the pandemic worsens, then certain dates simply won’t be achievable.