All top-flight clubs will convene on Friday morning as the sport continues to grapple with the unprecedented coronavirus crisis gripping the world.
Having previously looked at the matter of finances and player remuneration, the focus of this online meeting is understood to be on how best to complete the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
Reports have suggested that nine clubs are in favour of ending the campaign by June 30, with the complications of contract expiration dates among the key issues.
But one senior figure at a Premier League club is understood to have expressed surprise that this issue is being considered as a serious factor, given the number of players that would impact and how FIFA are looking at a workaround for such individuals.
It is understood that the proposal to have the season wrapped up by the end of June is not down as an agenda point on Friday, but the matter will surely be raised given the apparent number of supporters behind it.
Planning for the conclusion of the campaign looks tough for top-flight stakeholders given the uncertain backdrop, with the Premier League already having stated that play will not resume until “it is safe and appropriate to do so”.
Wilder: Adjust season accordingly
The Government extended the lockdown period by at least another three weeks on Thursday, and Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder does not expect a deadline to be set for the season’s conclusion.
“I’m sure that we will adjust accordingly,” the Blades boss told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I think for the integrity of the competition and competitions, especially the top end of English football and European football, they’ll want to finish the season.
“I believe that there will be an ability next year to adjust, with international breaks, with moving a few games into midweek. We have that ability through organisation and planning to finish this season off.
“But only as everybody said, and I’ll reiterate that, when it’s safe to do so for everybody. And that obviously we have to take our lead off the Government and what they suggest and want us to do.”
Bloom: No decision expected soon
Brighton chairman Tony Bloom is also not expecting any definitive update at Friday’s meeting amid talk of June 30 cut-off date.
“We would like to finish the season,” Bloom said.
“There does come a point when we can’t keep waiting but I don’t think June 30 is that point.
“There’s talk about player contracts and sponsorship and it’s difficult to play beyond that but this situation is so unique and unprecedented every option should be looked at.”
UEFA is considering the option of finishing the Champions League and Europa League competitions in August once domestic leagues are completed, it is understood.
Football across the continent has been ground to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic and the governing body is meeting next next Thursday to discuss how the 2019-20 season can be concluded.
Its plans for the two European competitions will depend on how soon domestic leagues across the continent can resume.
If they are up and running some time in the next couple of months, then UEFA could decide to play them alongside the league action as they do in normal circumstances.
But if it is not until July or August that the action is under way then UEFA would be more likely to play the remainder of the two competitions in a condensed timeframe, culminating at the end of the August.
Both the Champions League and the Europa League, with respective finals due to be played in Istanbul and Gdansk, are currently midway through the round of 16 stage.
It is understood UEFA are keen for all remaining matches in the domestic leagues to be played, but April 23’s meeting is likely to see the subject of possibly ending them early at least discussed.