LONDON, May 2: Premier League clubs have reconfirmed their commitment to finish the 2019/20 season subject to coronavirus restrictions being lifted in Britain despite fears expressed by players.
The English top flight faces an eye-watering estimated loss of around �1 billion ($1.25 billion) if no more football is played due to the global pandemic.
Playing the 92 remaining games behind closed doors would mitigate that loss, avoiding the need to repay hundreds of millions to broadcasters.
But the Premier League faces huge logistical difficulties in its attempts to return to action, with Britain one of the countries worst-hit by COVID-19 as the number of deaths passed 27,500.
The league and clubs discussed possible steps towards resuming the season at a meeting on Friday.
�The league and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with government guidance, under expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers,� the Premier League said in a statement.
�The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019/20 season, maintaining integrity of the competition and welcomed the government�s support.�
The league reportedly informed clubs that matches will have to be played at up to 10 neutral venues for the season to be completed.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said on Thursday that the idea of not playing matches home and away was a �further imperfection� on top of games being behind closed doors.
The British government is due to review a nationwide lockdown on May 7 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Thursday to provide a �roadmap� towards easing restrictions.
Liverpool are on the brink of their first league title for 30 years with a 25-point lead at the top of the table.
However, the Premier League is keen to avoid potential legal challenges over the awarding of much more tightly contested European places, relegation and promotion if the season cannot be completed.
Paris Saint-Germain were declared Ligue 1 champions on Thursday after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced sport could not resume before September. � AFP