MIAMI, Fla. (March 7, 2020) —
LaLiga and the Spanish Footballers’ Association (AFE) are working on softening the blow that coronavirus will have on Spanish football. The idea is return to action as soon as possible, with clubs ordered to be ready for whenever the season resumes.
These are currently four options organisers have for the rest of the 2019/20 campaign.
1. Resume the season in May
This idea is the most agressive and involves returning to action in mid-May and playing until either June 30 or July 15.
It would most certainly mean that games in May take place in empty stadiums, with matches played every three days (72 hours apart). It leaves uncertain at present what will happen with any player contracts that expire on June 30. FIFA is expecting to announce an indefinite exptension of the 2019/20 season which will also alter the dates of the summer transfer window and permit contract extensions for players whose deals run out on June 30. The question of player contracts is a bigger one than most fans realise.
2. Resume the season later in the summer
With UEFA having postponed the Euro 2020 tournement to next summer, it leaves a nice gap for domestic leagues to fill up with games. This is a feasible option and would mean that next season’s start date would have to be rescheduled. This calendar would mean LaLiga would go on until August or September.
3. Resume in September
This would be an extreme option but, as days go by, it looks like the most realistic one. It would mean the 2020/21 season need to be completely rescheduled and that the coronavirus would have impacted not one, but two football seasons.
4. Declare the Season Over
As the weeks go by, it becomes less likely the season can be finished by June 30, 2020, which will result in clubs having a good number of players out-of-contract. With the situation unclear as to when the quarantine will be lifted and crowds allowed to go to stadiums and other venues, the fourth option, which is disfavoured by FIFA, UEFA and LaLiga, would be to simply declare the 2019/20 season complete. This would likely also mean that there would be promotion of the top two teams in each of the lower divisions, and no relegation. The leagues would then play next season as planned beginning in late August, and the leagues would adjust their sizes back to normal over the coming season or two. The Jupiler Pro League in Belgium is the first league to opt to declare its season over, but other leagues are expected to follow suit.
Cover Photo: LaLiga match ball at Coloseo Alfonso Pérez, Getafe, August 24, 2020 by Kenneth Russo
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