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Premier League recovery: areas of vagueness that remain


The countdown begins. Two weeks before its return to competition on June 17, the Premier League must meet Thursday to refine its recovery plan and decide questions that have nothing trivial details.

A puzzle-like calendar
To get it right, the Premier League will resume on Wednesday 17 June by updating its calendar with two late matches (Manchester City-Arsenal and Aston Villa-Sheffield United). The 20 elite clubs will then have 9 full days and three rounds of the FA Cup before August 1, the date of the FA Cup final, which will mark the end of the domestic season. This tight schedule will be at least facilitated by the absence of “replay” (support matches) in the FA Cup in its decisive rounds. The shifts were scheduled for the weekend of June 27 and 28.

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Substitutes and game sheet
Long inactivity, a tight period of fitness and a high-intensity recovery: the players' metabolisms will be put to the test. To alleviate this shock, Fifa proposed to temporarily increase the number of authorized substitutions to 5 in 90 minutes. According to the press, Chelsea have asked the Premier League to change the number of substitutes on the score sheet accordingly to nine instead of seven. But these changes, which the Premier League must endorse, are disputed by the small clubs which there see a boon for the big stables with better staffed.

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Neutral fields
After having fought the plan to play all matches in a limited number of stadiums, the Premier League clubs seemed to have folded the Premier League. But at the request of the authorities in charge of security, who fear rallies of supporters around the stadiums, a "small number" of meetings will indeed be relocated. This will include any match at Anfield, where Liverpool could be crowned champion for the first time in 30 years. A solution that leaves coach Jürgen Klopp unmoved: " We will not have the support of our public but no team will have it, " he replied to the BBC. " It doesn't matter who we play against, the situation will be the same, that's why I'm not so worried about it ."

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Do without VAR?
Some clubs could ask that we do without video assistance to further limit the number of people present during a match, as proposed by Fifa. But Premier League CEO Richard Masters is campaigning for his retention. "VAR has its own problem in terms of social distancing, but we think it is possible to end the season with VAR," he told Sky Sports.

What if we had to stop everything?
When a resumption of the championship still seemed very uncertain, the modalities to determine the final classification were already an extremely sensitive subject and the Premier League wants to clarify things before even trying to end the season. Unsurprisingly, the bottom teams are pushing for no relegation or promotion if the championship doesn't come to an end. An option that seems however excluded, given the firm opposition of the federation and the professional league, which expect to have climbs and descents on all floors. Consequently, the most likely hypothesis would be a classification based on the number of points divided by the number of matches played. The Premier League, however, has no obligation to decide this point on Thursday, and it could therefore be postponed.

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Source: lefigaro

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