Football punters who have been coping with the absence of the beautiful game had a hint of the potential restart date for the current Premier League season this weekend.
According to reports in the UK media, the Premier League leadership is discussing plans that would see football action return on June 1, with a six-week window in which it is hoped that the ongoing 2019-20 season could be completed.
But the reports emphasised that the date of June 1 was a tentative target at this stage as there could be further developments associated with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that could yet have a significant impact on the scheduling of UK sports.
There are nine remaining rounds of fixtures in the current season, although the Football Association are also keen to complete the FA Cup, which is currently at the quarter-final stage, with seven more games to be played. According to reports, in order to meet the six-week timetable, the Premier League would be prepared to play its games behind closed doors. They would also have to obtain the approval of Public Health UK, which would enable emergency services to be present at the games.
Last week, The FA and the English football leagues put out a joint statement that confirmed there would be no more football played at any level until April 30.
The media in the UK have also reported that there could be significant legal and financial ramifications for the Premier League if the season is not finished. The organisation currently has a £3 billion contract with BT Sport and Sky Sports to broadcast the season. If the remaining games are not played, the Premier League could find itself embroiled in a £750 million legal fight over loss of earnings. This is likely to form part of the discussions scheduled for later this week between a number of key stakeholders in English football over the way forward.