Premier League to restart on 17 June

Thursday, 28 May, 2020 105comments  |  Jump to last
Top-flight action in England is scheduled to resume in three weeks' time after Premier League clubs voted to move 'Project Restart' to its final stages.

The two postponed matches from before the suspension of play in March, Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal, will be the first games to be held on 17 June. That would bring all 20 teams level with the rest on games played. All games will be played behind closed doors, with the next full round of fixtures apparently to follow on 20th June when Everton will play Liverpool.

The resumption of the League is dependent on there being no surge in cases of coronavirus among players in the interim. At present, 12 cases have been revealed from two rounds of tests administered to players and staff.

The announcement follows another vote earlier this week in which Premier League clubs voted to reinstate contact training.

Update A third of the remaining matches in the Premier League will be shown free on UK television, with four matches to be shown live by the BBC, for the first time since the advent of the Premier League.

One of the games selected for free transmission on Sky is the derby game between Everton and Liverpool, but a decision is still awaited on the venue.  


Reader Comments (105)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 28/05/2020 at 16:35:08
And here we go.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 28/05/2020 at 16:39:17
Everton v Liverpool 17th. June a Wednesday.
Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 28/05/2020 at 16:40:11
We going together, Dave?
Charles Brewer
4 Posted 28/05/2020 at 16:42:11
File under "Who cares?"
Fran Mitchell
5 Posted 28/05/2020 at 16:44:05
Let's hope City don't lose to Arsenal on the first game. If not, Liverpool could clinch the title in the Derby.

As if Lockdown isn't bad enough, the last thing we need is this.

Fran Mitchell
6 Posted 28/05/2020 at 16:47:47
Apart from the fact that Liverpool will win the league, I am happy that football is back (while also not agreeing politically whether it should).

All games available to watch, will be good for us to finally see the if Ancelotti can improve us.

With the expectation of 5 possible substitutions, then should provide chances also for the likes of Gordon, Gibson and maybe some others from the U23s. And more game time for Kean too.

Alan McGuffog
7 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:07:25
If the rs are set up to clinch the league at Goodison I wonder if one or two will congregate outside. I wonder 🤔🤔🤔
Paul Jones
8 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:23:49
BBC sports says a few 'high profile' games could be played at a neutral venue in line with Police requests.

I think the derby looks nailed on to be moved given the mindless tendency of many RS supporters to turn up where they're not wanted. Fingers crossed they don't move it to Norway - although I wouldn't be surprised if they did!

Martin Reppion
9 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:27:19
Paul#8, Short of moving it to the moon I can't see it being played under 'safe' conditions.
But given what I've seen of the German games on TV, being on the moon won't result in there being any more of a lack of atmosphere.
Martin Reppion
10 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:30:56
One further point:

Will this mean the whole money-making farce will be done and dusted by the end of July? (It should take just 5 weeks playing weekend and midweek).

At least then we can start looking forward to a close season with meaningful transfer speculation and the hope of something resembling football to comeback to.

Stay safe guys. See you at the other side.

John Pickles
11 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:33:06
It's a shame it's empty stadiums, as the 3 weeks notice period would allow all the LFC fans enough time to book their flights, fly in and finish their 2 weeks quarantine and still make the match.
Jay Harris
12 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:37:00
As I watch beaches and bars packed like Sardines I cant help wonder about the leadership around the world.

The one thing that this pandemic has brought home to me is there are no real leaders around the world and that money is more important than peoples lives.

I really believe they should have scrapped this season and concentrated on a proper new season start in August with totally prepared safety guidelines and fans being allowed to follow their teams.

Phil Greenough
13 Posted 28/05/2020 at 17:58:58
It's all well and good football being back, but what happens if a player tests positive after the game? Does that mean the two teams, the match officials and support staff have to self isolate for 14 days?

According to the rules that's what they'd have to do. And what happens to any fixtures the two clubs have to play?

Paul Jones
14 Posted 28/05/2020 at 18:08:07
I am very pleased I will get to test my eye sight watching Premier League football, it will save me a 500-mile round trip and I will be able to forget and forgive those who already have?
Bill Gienapp
15 Posted 28/05/2020 at 18:42:22
So are the players out-of-contract on June 1st still technically on the team for these games? Seems a little awkward. And actually relevant to us, since Stekelenburg is basically our backup keeper at this point.
Billy Roberts
16 Posted 28/05/2020 at 18:47:46
Phil @13,

You beat me to it, the new trace and track to be launched today encourages everyone who is diagnosed with the virus to give the details of everybody they have been in close contact with.

The close contacts (workmates, family etc) are then contacted by trace and track staff and are requested to self isolate for 7 days and wait for symptoms.

This is being presented as a civic duty for everyone to help stop the spread, so if just 1 player tests positive after any match, does this not mean both teams and the whole squad referee possibly, physio, medical team, manager, coach have to stay home for 7 days.

Are professional athletes exempt from this civic duty? I welcome anyone to correct me on this as I cant see how the public are going to buy into it.

Jim Wilson
17 Posted 28/05/2020 at 18:52:15
Besides the main point that it is far too early and unsafe to restart football, am I right in thinking Everton are happy to play the mugs again (1989 FA Cup Final) to help LFC win another trophy, played with no home support or will to win, and a bent ref in charge?

And while our neighbours are plotting to keep us out of the Champions League forever.

You couldn't make this shit up. We are more stupid than even I thought if this farce of a game is played. I hope we cry off which is the safe and correct decision.

Make no mistake, they would never in a million years play this game if the shoe was on the other foot.

Don't ever be mugs again, Everton. Do not participate in a complete charade.

Danny Baily
18 Posted 28/05/2020 at 19:03:41
Bill 15, those lads will surely be out?

A lot of youngsters will get game time in their place.

Ludicrous that they'll be resuming the league when League One down is cancelled. Zero sporting integrity.

Sean Kelly
19 Posted 28/05/2020 at 19:43:19
I heard Dominic Cummings is driving the team bus providing he passes the eye test. I'll get me coat.
Philip Bunting
20 Posted 28/05/2020 at 19:55:02
When you look at our position in the league now, will the team have the toughness and heart to really push themselves in these last few games?...or will they be playing at half-throttle?

Those teams battling to stay up and those in top 6/8 positions have a reason to up their game. My fear is we tumble down the league half-arsed...

There's one trait I haven't seen in an Everton team in years and that's bottle. Hopefully my fears are misleading.

Tony Abrahams
21 Posted 28/05/2020 at 19:55:33
Sean, he said he will only do it if his kid can be the mascot.
Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 28/05/2020 at 19:56:11
Bill #15, most of those contracts run to the 30th of June, not the 1st.

But yes, it's a very interesting question, not just on contracts but on loans. Does Sidibé go back to France at the end of June, even if the season is still on? Does Jonjoe Kenny come back from Schalke? Strange times for the contract lawyers.

Sean Kelly
23 Posted 28/05/2020 at 20:00:41
No thanks, Tony, if his kids have his looks.
Stephen Brown
24 Posted 28/05/2020 at 20:08:13
My fear too, Phillip. Could end up coming about 16th unless we're at it!!

Going to be very strange!

Peter Neilson
25 Posted 28/05/2020 at 20:11:13
The Premier League announced a couple of weeks ago that players with contracts expiring on the 30th June will have until the 23rd June to agree an extended contract until "the end of the season".

It looks like loan deals are treated in the same way as it's still a contract with an end date. However the club that loaned the player out also has to be in agreement, eg, Ighalo at Man United.

Liam Reilly
26 Posted 28/05/2020 at 20:20:56
According to Sky, the derby will be Free to Air, so they are not anticipating that the Shite win the league at Goodison.

It's all about money; shocking. Football without fans is nothing.

Eric Paul
27 Posted 28/05/2020 at 20:35:33
Without fans, I wouldn't watch it if they paid me.
Mike Gaynes
28 Posted 28/05/2020 at 20:38:20
Peter #25, good update, thanks.

Looks like Carlo and Marcel have an immediate decision to make about the two loans at right-back.

Patrick McFarlane
29 Posted 28/05/2020 at 21:08:15
Is it okay for a random individual testing positive for Covid-19, to inform the tracers that they were in the company of the entire [choose any club] squad?

If an actual player from either Arsenal, Man City, Aston Villa or Sheffield Utd tests positive following their matches, would the league continue? Or would the entire squads of the clubs infected be quarantined for at least seven days?

I won't be watching any of it but I do hope that those who do watch, enjoy themselves. I would't expect the season to be completed either, it'll probably last just long enough for our neighbours to be crowned as Champions.

If it does manage to be completed on the pitch, I hope that Everton pick up enough points to ensure survival. It seems mad I know, but we are a team that relies on its supporters more than most and our away record has been abysmal for many years.

Dennis Stevens
31 Posted 28/05/2020 at 21:16:21
If results don't go as expected & there seems to be a risk that the RS may fail to win the League, I wonder if the pressure to abandon the season after all might increase?
Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 28/05/2020 at 21:20:45
Mike (3), wish we could, if only it was real football!!
John Boon
33 Posted 28/05/2020 at 21:30:21
To me, this is idiotic. As much as I enjoy watching football I have no interest in last season. It is over, done, finished. An unexpected catastrophe intervened and finished everything.

I don't care about Liverpool FC. Give them whatever they want but it is all meaningless. It is tough on all teams that had something significant to fight for, such as relegation or promotion. However, for the majority, it is akin to having 10 useless boring friendlies played in front of nobody.

90% of the teams are useless fodder or pawns just to have an unjustified finish to something that is already finished.

Sean Kelly
35 Posted 28/05/2020 at 22:01:22
To me this season is finished, null and void. The coronation of the red shite will happen while people are dying or contracting this virus. All the grieving that has been done in private without the proper support of family and friends over the past 3 months will suddenly be lifted with the tears of joy from that shithouse of a club. Pathetic.
Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 28/05/2020 at 22:21:23
Etihad Stadium for the derby? Let the integrity grow.
Michael Lynch
37 Posted 28/05/2020 at 22:51:24
The clubs are using GPS systems to track the players, so they can prove nobody ever spends more than 15 minutes in close proximity to another player, thus avoiding the track and trace 14 day quarantine regulations.

In my opinion, this sounds like a pile of steaming bullshit that would even make Dominic Cummings blush.

I mean, I know our team play like strangers sometimes, but in what world can they avoid the kind of close contact that would have the rest of us locked up in our homes for two weeks?

Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 28/05/2020 at 23:02:25
Alan@7, what they should bring in is, if there are fans gathered outside the stadium, then the match will be called off. As it is our neighbours, do not bank of them bringing in such a rule.
Jim Wilson
39 Posted 28/05/2020 at 23:12:44
Couldn't agree more, Sean. The whole thing is disgusting. Lives don't seem to matter to some people.
Jerome Shields
40 Posted 28/05/2020 at 23:44:09
I would have preferred the season had been declared null and void. This solution is going to feel like a different competition. Not really a competition, because it's been run to produce an inevitable result.

It will probably impact on next season. There could be a few surprise results, with teams disoriented and players not prepared / rusty.

Contracts and loans will be interesting, with transfers in the mix as well. Will be difficulty to offload players.

Contact tracing and a second wave are risks as well. What happens then.

Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 28/05/2020 at 23:45:57
Six months? No fucking way. A ruptured Achilles requiring surgery is at least a one-year injury. More likely 15 months.

I don't think he will ever play for us.

Eric Myles
42 Posted 29/05/2020 at 02:02:25
Not that strange Mike #22, the contract remains in force unless amended, so yes, Sidibé and Kenny return to their parent clubs, any player whose contract expires goes to the dole office.

Unless they implement what Peter #25 says, the player would also have to agree.

Bob Parrington
43 Posted 29/05/2020 at 03:52:36
An irony in regard to this restart is that we've played the derby earlier in the season at the RS home ground in front of a hostile crowd. And now, we have to play them at our home or a neutral ground with zero atmosphere and so no partisan/hostile to RS crowd. This means there is no integrity in the competition. This is just one example of course.
Duncan McDine
44 Posted 29/05/2020 at 07:28:58
Very good point Bob. They’ve played their 12th man at home, maybe we should be allowed a literal 12th man to play against them.
Jerome Shields
45 Posted 29/05/2020 at 08:43:03
Philip,

In fairness to Brands, Gbamin had all the attributes Everton needed and at the time I thought he was a great buy. You would also have expected the Everton medical team to have been thorough.

Everton have had difficulty attracting players and Brands has had to take risks on injury-prone players. I would have taken the gamble myself, but unfortunately in Gbamin's case, a good player, it appears it's not working out. I am very disappointed not to see him play.

I feel sorry for Gbamin, who had such great potential. Still, I am not confident in Everton's rehabilitation programme. Martinez replaced the person in charge, Kenwright brought him back.

Footballers have a relatively short career and probably insurance is in place to cover extended lay-offs. Banks have insurance against default on mortgages and actually continue to gain on a rising market from repossessions.

Tony Abrahams
46 Posted 29/05/2020 at 08:46:44
Bob @47, a bigger irony will be if we get to play next season's first derby at Goodison Park.
Liam Reilly
47 Posted 29/05/2020 at 09:24:13
Bob, Duncan,

We could play the derby at a capacity Goodison with none of their supporters and against their kids and we still wouldn't win. They've an Indian Sign over us.

It's a mentally issue with the majority of this group of players, where the game is lost before they step onto the pitch.

Still, I'll be watching in hope more than anything else.

Kim Vivian
48 Posted 29/05/2020 at 09:55:57
With reference to Michael's post at 37, I don't quite get this 15-minute criteria. Surely it doesn't take 15 minutes to transmit the infection – more like seconds I would have thought – especially if the infecter is huffing and puffing all over the infectee. So an infected player in a match is likely to have potentially infected every player he has been close to.

I understand the commercial desire to get the season finished, and the quandary over relegation/promotion places, but cannot begin to imagine the consequences if even just one fatality occurs as a result of the restart. And that's not even considering fans likely behaviour here – only players, officials and staff.

Brian Murray
51 Posted 29/05/2020 at 11:42:31
Today is the anniversary of the day Everton football club ceased to be a threat and compete at the top level. Heysel atrocity. All media obviously very quiet 🤫
George Carroll
52 Posted 29/05/2020 at 11:44:42
Starting before we are out of the virus is pure greed on the part of Premier League clubs: money before people.
Jerome Shields
53 Posted 29/05/2020 at 12:39:01
My daughter in Adelaide tells me Ruby League has started back. For 20 dollars, fans can send in a picture of themselves and the Club will make a cardboard cutout and put it on a stand seat during matches for them. Better than simulated background roar anyday.

She says 'Only in Australia'.

Gary Willock
54 Posted 29/05/2020 at 12:41:09
Apparently Liverpool’s matches will be switched to neutral venues if there is a chance that they’ll win the title at that game. Including possibly the derby.

Not sure how anyone can consider it ‘fair’ that we lose the home crowd advantage, let alone fair that we then also lose our home ground advantage too. That alone is an absolute farce.

However, anyone who thinks that’ll mean fans won’t turn up at the Ground, or the city centre, ‘when’ they win it knows NOTHING about this city and it’s people. It’s not just them, we’d have fans who’d do it too. there WILL be crowds, and they WILL celebrate.

Some of the press suggested that up to 41 deaths as a result of allowing Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid match to go ahead how many more deaths are acceptable so the premier league can collect its pot of gold?

Wrong from every level. Sporting and societal.

Bob Parrington
56 Posted 29/05/2020 at 13:57:35
Eventually, we will overcome. The worm will turn. I hope I'm still around to witness this!
Steve Ferns
57 Posted 29/05/2020 at 14:26:44
Spot on, Gary. Either all games are played at neutral grounds or none. I suppose the compliant Everton Board will go along with it, rather than rocking the boat.
John McFarlane Snr
58 Posted 29/05/2020 at 15:05:32
Hi all, I find the decision to resume playing football disrespectful to the people who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease, and to the well-being of players and fans. I am old enough to remember when football had some morals, but I also appreciate that there has always been a disparity between those 'who have' and those 'who haven't'.

However it's my opinion that 'pure greed' is the root cause of today's problems and it's here to stay, as someone who has attended games since 1948 I will see out the coming 2020-21 season, having purchased my season ticket but, if God spares me and Covid-19 ignores me, it's likely to be my last season at Goodison.

On a side note, I have no intention of watching football behind closed doors and in front of empty seats. VAR, to me, struck the first blow, and the greed and self-interest of the Premier League and its clubs have finished the job. This post is something that I'd never thought I would submit.

Peter Neilson
59 Posted 29/05/2020 at 15:13:25
Poland will let fans back into stadiums from 19 June for top-tier games but no more than a quarter full to allow for social distancing. Might be an indication of the way grounds are opened here.
Anthony Murphy
61 Posted 29/05/2020 at 15:26:52
Gary, I think that is a crucial point. Liverpool will win the league and when they do, the streets around Anfield and in the city centre are going to be very busy with people celebrating regardless of where the league winning game is held. There is a scenario here that could see a spike in Covid-19 deaths – is that too dramatic? Not sure, but the celebrations will happen.
Michael Lynch
62 Posted 29/05/2020 at 15:27:41
Gary @54, You're absolutely right. In my opinion, if any remaining games are played at neutral grounds then all remaining games should be, and the corresponding reverse fixture should be struck from the records, or recorded as a draw. But there seems to be such an unseemly rush to get the Premier League going again, that any kind of integrity or fairness has gone out of the window.

Maybe we've all been ignoring the way the game has been sacrificed on the altar of TV money, blinded by our memory of football as it was when we were younger. VAR, TV dictating kick-off times, stupid wages for mediocre kids... it's taken this lockdown for me to recognise just what the game has become. And once this farce of a season is completed – and let's face it, it was already one of the dullest seasons I can remember, and we've had a good number of them at Everton – all we've got to look forward to is a new season starting in September played behind closed doors, or whatever it takes in order for the Sky money to be forthcoming to pay the inflated wages.

Like Johnny Rotten said to the crowd at the final Sex Pistols gig, "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"

Alan J Thompson
63 Posted 29/05/2020 at 15:41:10
Just imagine the heartbreak if, on 19 June, two or three Everton players tested positive only to find out on 22nd June that they were false positives...

Hahaahaahahaaa no, no don't, no honestly don't...

Patrick McFarlane
64 Posted 29/05/2020 at 17:07:30
According to reports, Merseyside Police have said they have no objections for games to take place at Goodison or Anfield and add that decisions in relation to public health risk are made by the Government and Public Health England and ultimately the final decision rests with the Safety Advisory Group, which is chaired by Liverpool City Council in line with the decisions made nationally in relation to sporting events.'

According to the Daily Mail:

The full list of games police hold concerns over are: Manchester City v Liverpool, Manchester City v Newcastle, Manchester United v Sheffield United, Newcastle v Liverpool, Everton v Liverpool and the game which takes Liverpool to the title.

I can understand the derby game, and Manchester City's game with Liverpool being high risk so too the game which might clinch the title, but the other matches I'm struggling to understand what the issues are.

Personally, I hope that the derby is played at another venue so we can't possibly take any blame for any incidents that might occur.

Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 29/05/2020 at 19:41:06
Gary #54 et al...

The mayor of London, an RS supporter, agrees with you all:

"I am concerned about any action that could inadvertently lead to the virus spreading," Khan told LBC.

"Let me make a confession. Even though I'm a south Londoner, I support Liverpool and that's why a small part of my brain is keen for us to return. But actually the bigger part of my brain is saying safety is what matters.

"We don't want to inadvertently, for the best of intentions -- all of us need cheering up, there's nothing more joyous for sports fans than watching sport on TV, even without the crowds -- but we need to make sure we don't inadvertently give an opportunity to the virus to spread.

"I know, human nature as it is, fans will turn up to see the coach arriving, to listen to the atmosphere -- the players inside the stadium even though they're not allowed in, to see the coach leaving, to buy T-shirts and scarves, police and councils need to enforce the rules."

"We can't have fans congregating around the stadiums. We don't want Premier League clubs in London to have fans congregating... we've got Tottenham versus Arsenal coming up. It's really important clubs work with police and others to make sure we get this right."

https://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/4103429/premier-league-return-could-lead-to-coronavirus-spread-london-mayor-khan

Mick Roberts
66 Posted 29/05/2020 at 19:55:21
Totally meaningless games... no crowd, no atmosphere... and no, I won't be watching.
Mike Connolly
67 Posted 29/05/2020 at 20:12:55
It looks like it's the Liverpool away games touted for neutral venues. Shafted again by Liverpool. Just give them the trophy now instead of the charade of gifting them advantage venues.

I hope our board stand their ground over this, even if it's to say were not safe from relegation, like Watford and Brighton.

Gary Willock
68 Posted 29/05/2020 at 20:17:19
Mike @65 – not sure I'd have quoted a man who just a few months back said “Covid-19's not going to transmit on the London Underground” – but doesn't mean he's not right this time. People are going to celebrate and meet up. That is a fact.

Only time will tell, but I hope that whoever made this decision (including our own owners) understand the impact this may have on some families and communities.

Danny Baily
69 Posted 29/05/2020 at 21:22:24
I suggest we put the kids and deadwood out to undermine this 'competition' as much as possible. Unsworth in charge.
John Raftery
70 Posted 29/05/2020 at 21:30:15
The games will not be meaningless for the players and their managers. While the money men at all the clubs will be counting the revenue, the players will know the games will count in their career records in terms of appearances, results, goals scored, red and yellow cards and so on.

Managers will know their reputations can be ruined or enhanced in the remaining fixtures. The lack of crowd support cannot be used as an excuse for failure by any of the participants.

It will be interesting to see how supporters react once they are watching ‘their‘ team on live television. I have a feeling reactions, positive or negative, will be governed as they usually are by results.

Brian Wilkinson
71 Posted 29/05/2020 at 22:08:53
Mike @67, they are looking at a couple of Man City home games being at a neutral venue as well.

Yet no mention of Liverpool's home games against Palace or Chelsea being moved.

So if City beat Arsenal, then depending on the derby result, they will have a possibility of lifting it at their next home game. If that is the case, then it has to be moved away from Anfield. But you can guarantee they will play at Anfield.

Eric Paul
72 Posted 29/05/2020 at 22:38:50
There will be a different ball game once the games in hand have been played.
Mike Connolly
73 Posted 29/05/2020 at 22:53:58
I hope, if our game does get moved, the board kick up a fuss. I'm fed up at our club getting shafted by the Premier League: from VAR to Brian Hamilton's disallowed goal, the list is endless. If the board doesn't have the balls for that, I'd go with Danny's #69 option.
Mike Gaynes
74 Posted 29/05/2020 at 22:56:15
Gary #68... he is an RS, after all. So an occasional idiotic statement is to be expected.
Billy Roberts
75 Posted 29/05/2020 at 23:51:09
Just a side thought, the FA Cup Final is going to be an amazing experience isn't it? Are they still going to have them bandsmen on (or did that stop anyway about 20 years ago?) before kick-off, all 2 m apart, and then Abide With Me sung by the ball boys?

I am still not convinced by anyone how footballers can operate differently to your average person in relation to track and trace. and the clear disadvantages to teams like Everton most probably playing at a neutral venue in a match that could give the Premier League title to Liverpool?? A nightmare scenario, whether at Goodison or elsewhere.

Interesting post @64 by Patrick which suggests the final decision for events like this lies with a safety council chaired by the council. This then I assume would be the same people who thought that the Liverpool - Atletico Madrid match was okay to go ahead??? Cans of worms are opening all over the place!

Mick Conalty
76 Posted 30/05/2020 at 10:06:59
The Premier League restarting is being hailed by pundits (those with their snouts in the trough), as saving the country's morale. I think they should all be decorated as war heroes.

On the other hand, why don't they just fuck off. Self-serving gits. It's now official: football no longer belongs to the ordinary people, but to the elite. We the prols have been consigned to history.

Michael Lynch
77 Posted 30/05/2020 at 10:16:27
Billy - the FA Cup Final is meaningless if its played at an empty Wembley. I watched a few of the old Cup Finals on the BBC the other week, and the one thing they had in common - good final or bad final - was the incredible noise of the crowd.

The FA Cup Final isn't a football match, it's an occasion.

Tony McNulty
78 Posted 30/05/2020 at 11:07:26
Jurgen Klopp quoted in Today's "Times":

"I heard a few days ago a really good phrase about how we have the best home fans in the world, so we should maybe now say the best stay at home fans in the world."

"The best stay at home fans in the world." I nearly choked on my second cuppa.

Yes indeed, Jurgen certainly "gets" Liverpool

Brian Harrison
79 Posted 30/05/2020 at 11:29:46
I see that the Premier League and Sky have struck a deal that rather than Sky get the £750 million back if the season had been finished, they will now agree to take only £330 million paid over the next 2 years. There is also a discussion still to be sorted between the Premier League clubs as to who pays how much. The suggestion is the bigger clubs pay proportionately more than the rest, though this has still to be agreed.

I see many clubs struggling to survive without the possibility of fans being able to return safely, which in my book means a safe vaccine has been found. The problem a lot of clubs will face till a vaccine has been found is sponsors not willing to pay the sums they do now, but clubs still have players on massive contracts that they can't afford to pay, as well as trying to survive with also less Sky money.

As for League One and Two, I think these leagues may have to become part-time, as they all can't afford full-time professionals. I know the suggestion is to split these leagues into North and South sections but, even though that lessens travel costs, I can't see that compensating to make it viable.

Kevin Prytherch
80 Posted 30/05/2020 at 11:45:47
Brian @79,

The bigger teams get a bigger slice of TV revenue due to the number of times they're on TV, so it is only fair that they pay more back.

Brian Wilkinson
81 Posted 30/05/2020 at 15:46:16
They should stagger back fans starting alphabetically from their Christian names :-) could see a Monty Python Life of Brian sketch at the ticket office.

Seems fair although I am sure Zackariya will have something to say about it.

Barry Connor
82 Posted 30/05/2020 at 18:32:37
So, let me get this straight.

Normally, clubs play half their fixtures at Home and half Away. That is intended to ensure that no club enjoys an advantage. However, because Liverpool are so popular and their fans are likely to turn up at grounds even though they cannot get in, they will not have to play 'Away'?

That means that whichever team they are playing will not enjoy Home advantage even though Liverpool had Home advantage for the games played at Anfield.

So, if a club is in danger of relegation and due to play Liverpool at Home, they will lose that advantage because Liverpool are too popular and their fans too troublesome to allow the game to be played other than at a neutral venue. Is that correct?

If so, might not the clubs denied Home advantage feel aggrieved and might even consider legal action if the result is that they are relegated because they weren't able to play Liverpool at Home?

Ray Robinson
83 Posted 30/05/2020 at 18:55:15
Mr Aardvark will be happy though, Brian
Neil Copeland
84 Posted 30/05/2020 at 19:31:14
Ray #83, only if he calls himself Aadvark Smith or whatever rather than Mr Aadvark.

Think I might get a name change, how long does the process take?

Eric Paul
85 Posted 30/05/2020 at 19:42:27
So when the fuckers hit the wall and run out of steam and started to lose, their best fan (Old Nick) left his latest project in Australia and created the virus to give them the rest they needed to get it over the line. He certainly looks after his own.
Brian Wilkinson
86 Posted 31/05/2020 at 01:26:09
Good old BBC daily update briefing and they still get it wrong, I am pleased to announce the Liverpool vs Everton game will be free to view.

Could have sworn it was at Goodison.

Anyway, apart from that, only 6 people can meet up from Monday, yet over 22 people can meet up for 90 minutes for a game of football.

Mike Connolly
87 Posted 31/05/2020 at 10:10:02
Brian #86,

The BBC have got it right, it will be like an away match at a neutral venue. Come what may, the hierarchy will want them to lift the trophy. It's been said, let's put out the weakest team possible. Pretty much what they done to us, to devalue the game.

Chris Leyland
88 Posted 31/05/2020 at 11:12:04
The BBC are running a feature about the return of the Premier League on their website as follows:

We want to hear what you intend to do on matchdays to get you as close to your tried and tested routines as possible. We will collate the best entries and some may feature on a special BBC Radio 5 Live programme on Tuesday which will examine how football might look different when it resumes.

I've entered as a Mr N. Orway from Oslo and put:
Like most Liverpool fans, there will be absolutely no change to my routine. I will be donning my full kit and bobble hat and sitting in my lounge hundreds of miles away from Anfield, a place I have never actually been to in my life anyway.

Eric Myles
89 Posted 31/05/2020 at 11:55:12
Tyrone Mings

At least some players are coming out and saying it's all about the money.

Tom Bowers
90 Posted 31/05/2020 at 12:15:08
The season has fallen flat and finishing it like this doesn't excite me.
No crowds and neutral venues is a bust but obviously issues top and bottom need to be resolved. I still think it's too early as this pandemic is still alive and kicking (excuse the pun).

My own feeling is to wait and start the finish of this season by finishing this one later this year and then starting the new one in January all being well.

Francis van Lierop
91 Posted 31/05/2020 at 18:37:12
Marcel Brands (nice suntan) just got interviewed (by webcam - as is the norm nowadays) on Dutch TV.

As stated above, we will start against Liverpool on June 20th, most likely at a neutral ground.

Except for the relegation candidates opposing at the start, Marcel said most clubs were unanimous about the outcome of the meetings concerning finishing the season.

At Finch Farm, only the most necessary employees are allowed for the time being. Most meetings were able to take place by web-cam, whether they be medical, scouting or technical etc.

The most important reason for finishing the season is financial – no surprises there.

Ian Pilkington
92 Posted 31/05/2020 at 18:57:06
I have never agreed with the idea of completing the season but, whether we like it or not, it's going ahead and we are going to have to live with it, although it is absolutely essential that the ludicrous neutral ground concept for “selected matches” is kicked into touch.

I can't understand why some are bleating “it's all about the money”. If we hadn't had the backing of John Moores we wouldn't have won the four league titles between 1963 and 1987. And without Moshiri, we would probably be in the Championship by now.

The resumption of the Premier League will also provide funding desperately needed for Football League Clubs to stay in business. If the UK does not go back to work soon, the economy will never recover so why should the resumption of professional football be such a problem?

One positive must surely be that we will have the opportunity to finish rather higher in the table than 11th.

Tony Twist
93 Posted 31/05/2020 at 19:35:07
What a season this has been, hopefully it can be finished without incident.

With regards to the derby match to come, it should be the strongest side we can put out not the weakest. The circumstances are no excuse, we know what is at stake, we do the necessary to win the match and prevent them winning the title until their next game. That is motivation enough; if it isn't, then we are truly lost.

Eric Myles
94 Posted 01/06/2020 at 07:12:20
I see the Boston Red Sox are introducing salary cuts for their employees. Maybe their owners will do the same to our neighbours?
Keith Dempsey
97 Posted 02/06/2020 at 07:09:23
Off topic I know, I see the media have been all over the RS getting on one knee in support of the protest in the USA, I wonder if any of them had their t shirts on supporting Saurez when he racially abuse Evra.
Martin Nicholls
98 Posted 02/06/2020 at 07:48:21
Keith - good point!
Eddie Dunn
99 Posted 02/06/2020 at 07:51:22
I have always believed that the season should be completed. However, it was supposed to be when it was deemed safe to do so.

This virus is still out there and some players are currently sufferring from it and it will derail the plan to get the 90-odd games completed.

Imagine if, after a couple of these games, a player from say Villa, tests positive. The protocol would then surely be to isolate all those who have had any contact with him. That would include all of the players, and matchday workers from the previous game. This will cause cancellation of fixtures and the whole timetable will soon fall apart.

Perhaps the clubs are aware of this but know that by attempting to play the games, they will avoid paying back revenue from the TV companies. It is clearly all about the money, just as is the UK government's keeness to relax the lockdown.

Personally, I think that if games are played at neutral venues, then the season becomes meaningless. It will already have been devalued by playing behind closed doors but for the teams that are in the relegation mix, the loss of home advantage, and a full house of home fans will surely have an impact on results.

I would put it all on ice. This is short-termism at it's worst. If we stayed in lockdown for another 2 months, the virus could be severely reduced and normal service could be continued. This rush to protect investment will most likely result in many localised spikes in infection, leading to a rise in cases and future problems.

Steve Oshaugh
100 Posted 02/06/2020 at 09:28:04
Chris Leyland @88.

Mate, I get you're just having a pop at Liverpool but, speaking as a lifelong Everton fan from New Zealand (coming up to 40 years of support) and having only seen Everton in the flesh twice – once in NZ and once at Goodison – it is a little unnecessary to judge overseas fans just because they aren't from Liverpool or can get to games regularly.

Not sure how many games you've had to get up in the middle of the night to watch, mate, but it shows commitment to the cause, just as valid as going to games.

Also, the season restarting is bonkers while the virus is still circulating but the only thing that matters is beating them to delay their celebrations a bit longer... Failing that, then take out a few players in true Stevie G fashion.

Alan McGuffog
101 Posted 02/06/2020 at 09:38:54
Keith...One of four articles about them on BBC web today. The media can't wait to see them crowned champions
Tony Abrahams
102 Posted 02/06/2020 at 09:43:28
Getting up in the middle of the night to watch the football, is definitely not an easy thing to do on a regular basis, so FairPlay to you Steve mate.

I was living in New Zealand, when Duncan Ferguson scored against Liverpool, in Joe Royle’s first game in charge, and I’m sure that game kicked off about 6/7am. I remember getting dropped off in the small town about 9am anyway, and finally got in this working men’s club when it opened, so it’s not even easy celebrating special victories!

Steve Oshaugh
103 Posted 02/06/2020 at 09:54:11
I don't mind the 6 am games – it's the 3 am kick-offs that kill me. :)

I watched the Wimbledon escape by myself in the middle of the night. Woke up the house with my yelling and screaming when Barry Horne pulled a worldie out of his arse.

Over time, I've found quite a few Toffees to have a beer with, so no dramas celebrating a big win here.

Tony Abrahams
104 Posted 02/06/2020 at 10:18:28
Starting on the ale at 6am is no big drama, fair play to you mate, and I can’t wait for you to have something proper to celebrate Steve!

I was talking to a fella last night who very rarely gives any dodgie info, and he reckoned Everton have already got six injured, which is incredible really when you think they’ve only just gone back to contact.

Maybe loads of players took it to easy during lockdown, probably thinking that the season was over, but with Everton still needing at least a couple of wins, I hope this hasn’t been the case.

Rob Halligan
105 Posted 02/06/2020 at 11:59:01
Alan # 101. Make that six articles on the BBC website today. If there was a mass farting in the bath in the Analfield changing room the BBC would report on it!

Today, following yet another glorious victory by the greatest team ever, it has been reported at least fourteen players let rip in the bath.

"The smell was horrendous, said captain super Jordan, but a lot of players enjoyed the luxury of a bubble bath, and besides, we are well used to the smell as we are surrounded by fifty thousand smelly bastards every other week".

Ian Pilkington
106 Posted 02/06/2020 at 12:11:55
Keith @97,

This was surely a stunt dreamt up by their American owners to get them yet more media coverage.

Pathetic.

Ray Roche
107 Posted 02/06/2020 at 12:18:33
Tony @104

It was mentioned in The Times in Sunday that Everton and another club, Newcastle or Spurs I think, were both late starting training. It'll be interesting to see how fit or unfit we are compared to the RS when we play them. Having our players injured so soon, sadly, comes as no surprise.

Jay Wood
[BRZ]

108 Posted 02/06/2020 at 12:46:04
Ah, Rob @ 105.

You've just given me my first belly laugh of the day here in Brazil, and heaven knows I need one!

You really don't like the 'bours very much, do you Rob?

Danny Baily
109 Posted 02/06/2020 at 13:51:19
We're being set up as the bridesmaids (again) here. Brace yourselves!
Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 02/06/2020 at 14:05:39
It will only change when we change that Danny. They hate us because of posts like Keith's@97, and they call us bitter because they can't pull the wool over our eyes, but it was better when we had Joe Royle, because his little snide remarks, used to kill Liverpudlians, and all because they hate it when people can play them at their own game.
Rob Halligan
111 Posted 02/06/2020 at 18:11:23
Jay, got it one!!
Jerome Shields
112 Posted 02/06/2020 at 18:39:42
John #58,

There is a definite feel of suiting the greed merchants by the way the Premier League has conducted themselves since the Coronavirus lockdown started. They began with self-interest and completely ignored local communities, determined to keep the money flowing. Under pressure, they made token gestures but quickly resumed as before. This whole end-of-season sham is not about future competition, but to maintain the status quo for the richer Clubs.

I also think this whole crisis is going to bring in changes for the worst. The whole scenario has changed for Everton and the normal expectations of change will not be realised. The previous mismanagement of the club is not the ideal foundation for what is to come.

ToffeeWebbers are also thinking in terms of what has gone before, which will not be the case. There will be shocks in how the coming transfer window will play out. The other shock will be in the coming games, when the performance of an already hit-and-miss team is exposed to a compact fixture list. The majority of the squad will look as if they are going through the motions, but to some extent are surer of their position.

The Gbamin injury was a 'Get out of jail free' card for an underperforming midfield, which I doubt will have more completion in the coming season. The backline needs backup, which may not arrive and, if Kean is sold, Everton will have decreased attacking options.

We are probably heading into another limbo season.

John McFarlane Snr
113 Posted 02/06/2020 at 19:35:21
Hi Jerome [112], if you know the history of my posts, you will be aware of the fact that I have a bit of a 'stick in the mud' mindset. It saddens me to see the game I used to be passionate about being transformed into something I regard as distasteful. I don't blame the players for accepting salaries that the average working classes will never see in their lifetime.

I've said it before and I will say it again, there has always been a disparity in the finances of clubs, but in my opinion, the playing field changed when the TV companies threw obscene amounts of money primarily at the Premier League clubs. Those clubs instead of starting at the bottom, with non-playing staff, office workers, groundstaff etc, paid ridiculous transfer fees, which in turn led to ridiculous salaries, and when they had attended to those issues, they either miscalculated the gravity of the situation or ignored the well-being of the most important people in football – The Fans.

I accept that not everyone will share my view, but it might explain my preference of talking about what I regard as the Good Times. I sincerely hope that the younger supporters will be able to witness some of their own Good Times.

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