Premier League 2020/21 season to start on 12 September

24 July 2020, 14:44

The next Premier League season will commence on 12 September
The next Premier League season will commence on 12 September. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The 2020/21 Premier League season will start on 12 September, five weeks later than originally planned prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shareholders from all 20 Premier League teams agreed to the new date on Friday, with the final round of fixtures for next year's campaign due to take place on 23 May 2021.

The Premier League has said it "will continue to consult" with the Football Association (FA) and the English Football League (EFL) "regarding the scheduling of all domestic competitions."

Top-flight football was due to resume on 8 August before the Covid-19 outbreak, but was pushed back further into 2020 after the current season was delayed by 100 days.

Read more: Hundreds of Liverpool fans descend on Anfield despite warnings to stay away

Read more: Leeds United promoted back to Premier League for first time in 16 years

The 2019/20 season will end on Sunday, with several outcomes still to be decided, such as who gets relegated and who will qualify for next year's Champion's League and Europe League competitions.

It was delayed in March for three months due to the coronavirus pandemic and resumed on 17 June.

The EFL season will commence on the same weekend, it was later confirmed. However, it will conclude two weeks earlier on the weekend of 8 and 9 May 2020. The play-offs will follow at the end of the month.

Next season's start date means the opening fixtures, at least, will be played behind closed doors.

Spectators are expected to return to stadiums from 1 October but will have to adhere to social distancing measures.

This season's European competitions and the FA Cup are still to be concluded.

Nicola Palios, the owner and vice-chair of Tranmere Rovers who were relegated to League Two on the points-per-game calculation, questioned the date set for the new season.

"So it seems the @EFL season will start again on September 12, behind closed doors," she wrote on Twitter.

"So clubs who voted not to play the last 10 games of last season because they could not afford to, can now miraculously afford to start a new one?"

On Wednesday, hundreds of Liverpool fans gathered outside Anfield stadium to celebrate the club's Premier League win despite warnings to stay at home.

A heavy police presence was in force outside the stadium during their victory over Chelsea in what was their final home game of the season.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged loyal fans to remain at home for celebrations, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

He said: "We should all celebrate at home, drink what you want, prepare for a party when this bullsh** virus is over."

It is understood no decision has been taken yet on whether English clubs who are involved in European competition next month will be granted a delayed start.

The full calendar and fixtures for next season are unlikely to be confirmed until the third week of August, which will include details on how cup competitions can be accommodated into the truncated season and whether or not there will be a mid-season player break.

It is understood Premier League clubs have expressed a willingness to trial fans within stadiums at pre-season friendlies.

The first cricket test event with spectators since March will take place on Sunday when Surrey host Middlesex in a cricket friendly.