(June 17 updates in red)
The question of how the coronavirus is affecting the English football leagues is obviously on many people’s minds. I have some basic Q&A below, and I’m tracking the latest news.
Premier League: Resuming June 17. The 2020-21 season is now set to start (behind closed doors) on the second weekend of September.
Champions League: Will be finished in August. On August 7 and 8 they will have the second-leg Round of 16 games, followed by a single-elimination (knockout) eight-team tournament starting August 12 in Lisbon, Portugal. The final is August 23. Details here from the BBC.
Europa League: Similar to the Champions League, with round-of-16 second legs on August 5 and 6, followed by a knockout tournament in multiple German cities starting August 10. The final is August 21. Details here from the BBC.
FA Cup: Resumes June 27, semifinals July 18-19, final on August 1.
Championship: Resuming June 20.
League One: Season abandoned. Based on points-per-game, Coventry City and Rotherham have gone up to the Championship, and the playoffs will involve Wycombe Wanderers, Oxford United, Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town. Tranmere Rovers, Southend United, and Bolton Wanderers have been relegated to League Two. No dates have been announced for the playoffs.
League Two: Season abandoned. Based on points-per-game, Swindon Town, Crewe Alexandra and Plymouth Argyle have gone up to League One, and the playoffs will involve Cheltenham Town v Northampton Town and Exeter City v Colchester United. Stevenage have been relegated out of the Football League, but Macclesfield could take their place based on some financial penalty issues. Playoffs begin June 18.
National League (tiers 5 and 6): Abandoned the season, still working out promotion/relegation.
Everybody Else: Season null and void, like it never happened.
Is it safe to go to Europe or the UK right now?
Here is the US State Department advisory page for the UK.
If I have a ticket for a game that’s been postponed, do I get a refund?
Whoever you bought your ticket from, contact them.
My policy is that 100% of any refund that comes my way will be passed along to people who bought from me, as a refund or credit towards future purchases.
Are clubs going to close because of this?
Since most lower-league clubs depending massively on ticket sales for revenue, I think so. This is like a tsunami hitting the world of soccer, and some things are just no going to survive. Many clubs have already laid people off, and some are asking players to take a pay cut.
Here is a good video on the economic impact on English clubs: