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When will live football make a return?

The Covid-19 pandemic has left the nation reeling with all sports cancelled, bars empty and schools closing down. Normality will certainly resume at some point in the future but the big question is, when?

Italy’s Serie A and UEFA’s European competitions were the first to be hit, however it was always going to be just a matter of time before other leagues followed suit. The situation now is that all European domestic leagues are on hold and the same applies to the Champions League and Europa League.

Many proposals have been bandied about with regard to how the competitions should be concluded, however as yet nothing has been decided. Even the European Championships due to be held during the summer have been postponed and instead will be held in 2021.

With regard to the Premier League, the question is, should Liverpool be awarded the title? This leaves numerous problems such as the fairness for relegating teams at the opposite end of the table, especially when one of them has games-in-hand which could potentially save them from relegation. If these teams aren’t relegated from the Premier League, then the top sides in the Championship cannot be promoted.

The other issue is teams battling it out for a lucrative Champions League berth or a place in the Europa League. This is completely uncharted territory and the financial and legal implications are potentially massive.

Clearly everyone involved in the game will be desperate for the live action to return as soon as possible but as things stand, it’s impossible to even guess just when this will happen in the UK and further afield. The situation in China appears to be improving quickly and this gives everyone hope that things will be as normal as possible before too long.

The UK is arguably two months behind China and the measures implemented on these shores appear to be working, therefore we can perhaps make a relatively safe assumption that live football may make a welcome return in late May or early June.

Such a situation would allow the leagues to be played to a conclusion and promotion-relegation could be speeded up by abandoning play-offs, thus leaving players with a reasonable time to prepare for the 2020/21 campaign.