Football will have to finish the season by early August
The meetings follow each other with a view to establishing deadlines for the conclusion of the football season and, according to UEFA’s most recent indication, they must be closed by August 3 at the latest.
Race against time
The postponements of the European Championship and the Olympic Games have given hope to the most diverse football federations in the respective countries, but everything remains dependent on the eventual control of the spread of the coronavirus, after all, time does not stop and the realization of the remaining days of the European leagues remains in question .
According to conclusions drawn from the most recent UEFA meeting with clubs and officials, the deadline is now 3 August, when countries will have to indicate which clubs qualify for the Champions League of the following year. the last football weekend should be on the 1st of August, although we still have to count on European competitions, which are usually the end of the seasons.
In Portugal, for example, we still have ten rounds to go, as well as a Portuguese Cup Final. And even considering the realization of two days a week – since there are no more Portuguese teams in European competitions – it is likely that the League of Clubs and the Portuguese Federation and Football will need about a month and a half to complete their calendars.
So, and looking at the time limit set by UEFA, it is clear that competitions will not be able to resume much beyond mid-June, otherwise they will not be concluded. On the other hand, and after a long competitive stop, it is expected that the squads will need about 10/12 days to recover part of the physical indices they had since training at home does not compare with joint training in situations where they often simulate game situations.
All of this serves to elucidate the reader that it will be crucial that there is a green light by the end of May, that is, that the players can finally get together normally in the training centers to recover part of their shape before returning to compete in mid June.
More serious cases in the main European leagues
If in the national case there is the ironic advantage that there are no more clubs in the Europa League or Champions League, the same does not happen with the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A Italiana or Bundesliga which continue to have several teams on several fronts.
English football will be the one that is in the most delicate situation because there are still nine Premier League matches to go and an FA Cup that is only in the Quarter Finals. In addition, Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Wolves are still in European competition, with four of them still involved in the three competitions in dispute, and therefore with truly hellish calendars until the end of the season, should they wish to complete it in time. .
The Italian League is also long overdue because it was the first to stop due to the Covid-19 outbreak, with 12 matches to go which certainly presupposes close to two months of uninterrupted competition, something that will not be easy to guess.
Juventus, Atalanta, Napoli, AS Roma and Inter Milan are still in European competition, something that obviously complicates the situation even further, with some of these clubs also playing in the Italian Cup which is in the Semi-Finals.
In Spain, the scenario seems more feasible given the fact that the King’s Cup has a final between clubs that are not in European competitions – Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao – and with eleven La Liga games to play, it will probably be possible to finish the competition in one approximately a month and a half.
In Germany, there are still nine matches to be played together with the German Cup Semi-Finals, however it seems relatively clear that Italian and English competitions will be the ones with the greatest problems.
No time to breathe until 2023
According to the projections of several experts, this competitive stop could plunge football into a hellish phase where rest breaks will be greatly reduced. With the foreseeable end of the season at the beginning of August, and with the beginning of the next season not being able to go much further than mid-September, the holiday period will be reduced.
Then we will have a full season that will start slightly later and that will still have Euro 2020, Copa America and the Olympic Games in 2021. The 2021/22 season should then run smoothly, however, we will have a World Championship in 2022 that will run mid-season – between November and December – club competitions will have to start a little earlier than normal or finish slightly afterwards.
In short, we will have two and a half years that can be absolutely frantic in football terms. It is a case of saying that we may just be taking a deep breath for strong emotions. So we hope …