Premier League Call Emergency Meeting to Discuss Financial Crisis

West Ham United v Newcastle United - Premier League
The Premier League will discuss how to help the EFL | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

The Premier League will call an emergency meeting to discuss the continued financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, amid fears fans will not be allowed to return to stadiums until March 2021.

There were small trials during pre-season which saw around 5,000 fans permitted to return to games, but the UK Government have introduced fresh restrictions in an attempt to tackle a rise in COVID-19 cases which has forced the Premier League back to square one.

Stuart Armstrong, Ashley WestwoodStuart Armstrong, Ashley Westwood
Premier League games will remain behind closed doors | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

League officials have contested the decision, believing that the return of fans can be handled safely, and according to the Daily Mail, a large part of the frustration comes from the feeling that the Government are simply expecting the Premier League to bail out the rest of the Football League.

The cost of playing behind closed doors is expected to reach close to the £250m mark, and there are fears that the Premier League will have to front the bill despite making major losses themselves.

To discuss the issue, all 20 Premier League sides will meet on Tuesday to figure out a way forward, but a solution is not expected to be found until there is more information from the Government.

Some league officials believe as though the Government have ignored data from the Premier League’s test events and the fact that most stadiums can accommodate social distancing and track and trace systems. Most UK pubs have been allowed to stay open without even following most of the guidelines.

“I think the PL and EFL have been discussing it [National League bailout],” said Brighton executive Paul Barber. “It is difficult for PL clubs, but the biggest concern is down the pyramid. It is something that the PL and EFL need to address.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea: Pre-Season FriendlyBrighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea: Pre-Season Friendly
Fans returned during test games in pre-season | Steve Bardens/Getty Images

“But we have to invest and spend in players to generate the TV interest. We have to make sure our business survives and the pyramid survives too. It is not long ago that Brighton were in that lower level.

“One way is to try and bring fans back, that would allow us to stand on our own two feet. We held a test event and there was no risk, and there are other totally unregulated events that are allowed to occur. We are going to appeal to the Government to allow football clubs to run their businesses.”

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