Arsenal vs Man City to Headline PL Return on June 17


Project Restart has officially been given the green light, and now a firm return date has been set! Manchester City versus Arsenal FC and Aston Villa versus Sheffield United are set to be played on June 17, so that all teams are then squared up at 29 games completed.

The plan, approved at a shareholders meeting on Thursday, then calls for the remaining slate of matches to be played on June 20-21, with a match moved to Friday June 19 for television purposes.

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This according to Sky Sports, who report that clubs want the Premier League season finished by August 1. It is then hoped, according to ESPN, the FA Cup would be staged on August 8, with attention then turning towards completing European competiton in the Europa League and Champions League. This then leaves a timeline to begin the 2020-21 season in early September, instead of the usual mid-August start.

There are still some sticking points in this agreement, and a couple issues remain unresolved. Matches are set to be played behind closed doors, mostly in home venues.

However, the Daily Mail suggests that police forces in the UK are clamoring for certain high-profile games to be played at neutral stadiums instead due to concerns of large numbers of people congregating outside.

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If you know anything at all about a giant club’s spirited supporter base, then you realize, yes, of course you’re going to see that. It’s going to be nearly unenforceable- stopping fans from congregating and violating social distancing guidelines, and it would be a shame for first responders, who may be needed elsewhere, to have to focus on this task.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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