Premier League: Dates for 2020-21 season announced – but still no fans for now | UK News

Premier League: Dates for 2020-21 season announced – but still no fans for now | UK News

The Premier League has announced the dates for the start and finish of next season.

The 2020-21 campaign will start on the weekend of 12 September and run until 23 May.

Like the end of the current season, it is set to start behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, with fans hoping to be allowed back into grounds on a socially-distanced basis from 1 October.

Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring in front of the empty Etihad terraces
The Premier League has been played behind closed doors since it returned

The league said in a statement: “Premier League shareholders today agreed to start the 2020-21 Premier League season on September 12, 2020.

“The final match round of the campaign will take place on May 23, 2021. The Premier League will continue to consult the FA and EFL regarding the scheduling of all domestic competitions.”

The full domestic calendar is not expected to be confirmed until the third week of August, the Press Association news agency has reported.

The EFL has also confirmed the Championship, League One and League Two seasons will commence on the same weekend as the Premier League, with their regular campaigns ending on the weekend of 8 May.

Starting in September will mean a remarkably short period of time for squads to recover from the 2019-20 campaign, which will run into August for some due to the latter stages of competitions like the FA Cup and Champions League.

It will make for a much tighter pre-season schedule during August and September – and clubs have indicated that friendlies during that period could be used as test events for the government ahead of the planned relaxation of restrictions on having fans in stadiums.

Spectators will be allowed into a UK sporting event for the first time since the suspension of mass gatherings in March this weekend, when 500 people attend day one of Surrey’s cricket friendly against Middlesex on Sunday.

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Also at the shareholders’ meeting on Friday, Premier League clubs discussed homegrown player development and the implications of Brexit.

The final round of matches in the current Premier League season takes place on Sunday, kick-off 4pm, with European qualification and two relegation spots still to be decided.

Coverage of the games is available on Sky Sports.

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