The 2019/20 Premier League season will resume on June 17, it has been confirmed.
There has been no action in the top-flight since early March, with all sport put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the Premier League is now gearing up to return, with all 20 clubs welcoming their squads back to training and setting a date for its resumption.
Here’s all you need to know about the restart…
When is the Premier League resuming?
‘Project Restart’ was initially planned for June 12, but clubs have now voted on Wednesday, June 17 for the season to resume – subject to meeting all safety requirements.
Aston Villa will host Sheffield United on that date, while Manchester City will welcome Arsenal.
Those are both rearranged games, and will mean all 20 clubs have played 29 matches heading into the weekend of June 19-21, when the rest of the top-flight will be in action once again.
Players have been back in training since May. Strict social distancing guidelines were in place initially, but clubs have since voted to reintroduce contact training.
There are 92 matches still to play in total and all games will be held behind closed doors.
They are due to be played at the clubs’ own stadiums as normal but it is understood neutral venues could be used for some ‘key matches’ to prevent people from breaking social distancing guidelines.
This could include Liverpool’s trip to Everton and Manchester City, as well as other big occasions such as major London derbies.
A league statement on venues read: “The Premier League’s ambition is to complete all of our remaining fixtures this season home and away, where possible.
“We are working with our clubs to ensure risks are assessed and minimised, while cooperating with the police at a local and national level.
“Discussions with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and UK Football Policing Unit have been positive and are continuing. We are prepared for all outcomes and have a neutral-venue contingency.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Thursday, May 28: “Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday June 17.
“But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.
“Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.
“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home. We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019-20 season.”
When will the games kick-off?
New staggered kick-off times will be used for the remaining matches.
Games on a Friday will kick off at 8pm, while on Saturday the slots will be 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm.
Sunday matches will kick off at 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm, with Monday games starting at 8pm.
Midweek games on Tuesdays and Wednesday will kick off at either 6pm or 8pm.
The exact fixture dates will be confirmed in due course after discussions with TV and radio broadcasters.
Will all the games be on TV?
Yes! All 92 matches will be broadcast live by the Premier League’s partners – Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime.
Sky will show the majority of the games – 64 in total – with 25 of the games being made free-to-air, including Everton vs Liverpool on the first full weekend back.
BT Sport will show 20 of the games live on their platform.
The BBC will show four live matches, alongside their usual Match of the Day highlight programmes – the first time the channel will televise live Premier League football since the competition’s founding in 1992. Amazon Prime will also have four live matches.
Meanwhile, talkSPORT – as an official radio broadcaster of the Premier League – will bring you a host of live commentaries on the wireless. Stay tuned for more info!
How long has the Premier League been suspended for?
The last Premier League match before the shutdown was Leicester vs Aston Villa on March 9.
Manchester City vs Arsenal was the first Premier League fixture to be postponed on Wednesday, March 11 after Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.
The following weekend’s top-flight matches were subsequently called off and there has been no action since then.
EFL matches, the FA Cup quarter-finals, Champions League and Europa League games and international fixtures have also been pushed back.
Euro 2020 has been rescheduled for next summer to give domestic leagues the chance to get their seasons finished.
Could the Premier League season still be voided?
That looks highly unlikely as things stand.
The league are desperate to play the remaining games as the cost of cancelling it could be up to £1billion, according to Masters.
Sky, BT and overseas rights holders have already paid the Premier League for their full season’s broadcast rights, despite a quarter of the campaign left to play. So scrapping the campaign will mean broadcasters will look to recoup millions.
However, there is still a small possibility the season could be scrapped should there be a second wave of the virus or serious safety issues become apparent.’Football will cease to exist’ – Huddersfield owner fires stark warning to governing bodies
How does the Premier League table look?
Liverpool are way out in front – an incredible 25 points ahead of nearest challengers Manchester City – and are just two wins away from winning the Premier League for the first time.
Leicester are on course to secure Champions League qualification while there is set to be a big battle for the final top four spot, with Chelsea, Manchester United, Wolves, Sheffield United, Tottenham and Arsenal all still in with a shot.
At the bottom, Norwich look doomed to relegation, while Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham and Brighton are all battling for survival.