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covid chaos Clubs must play 25 Premier League games to stop season being scrapped


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The Premier League must vote on whether to adopt a mechanism, with 14 clubs needing to back a proposal for it to be approved (stock photo)

The Premier League must vote on whether to adopt a mechanism, with 14 clubs needing to back a proposal for it to be approved (stock photo)

The Premier League must vote on whether to adopt a mechanism, with 14 clubs needing to back a proposal for it to be approved (stock photo)

Premier League clubs will need to play at least 25 games to avoid the season being declared null and void in the event of it being abandoned.

Clubs have been given two options to consider should the campaign be curtailed because of the pandemic, with a minimum of 66pc or 75pc of fixtures having to be played to validate the season. That represents 25 and 29 matches respectively.

The Premier League and English Football League will be desperate to avoid declaring the season void if all the scheduled games cannot be played, partly because of the huge financial rebates that would otherwise be due to television companies. Indeed, the Premier League requested that clubs stopped using the phrase "null and void" in talks or public statements.

There is no suggestion that curtailment is being discussed or will be considered, but the spread of the virus is beginning to cause concern over how the fixtures will be completed if postponements continue.

The Premier League must vote on whether to adopt a mechanism, with 14 clubs needing to back a proposal for it to be approved.

It was hoped clubs would decide when a paper was prepared for them by the Curtailment Working Group at the start of this campaign. The clubs chose to put off the vote, but the Premier League's preferred method still stands. It wants clubs to decide on whether completing 66pc or 75pc of fixtures - a difference of four rounds of matches - is enough for the season to stand.

At present, 12 clubs have played 16 games, six have played 15 and two have played 14. Clubs have agreed final placings will be decided on points-per-game if the season is abandoned and an uneven number of games have been played. But the threshold of how much of the season needs to be completed is yet to be agreed. It remains to be seen if it is on the agenda at the next shareholders' meeting of the 20 clubs.

Matters are complicated because the season is scheduled to end on May 23 and Uefa is insisting the delayed European Championship kicks off on June 11.

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