Premier League Announces 12 September Start Date for 2020/21

Jul 24, 2020, 3:24 PM GMT+1
The Premier League have announced a 12 September start date
The Premier League have announced a 12 September start date | twitter.com/premierleague
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The Premier League have announced that the 2020/21 season will kick off on 12 September, with plans to wrap up slightly later than normal at the end of May.

The 2019/20 season concludes this Sunday, substantially later than planned due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It had been unclear until now what sort of knock-on effect the late running of the season would have on further campaigns, even with the Euros postponed until 2021 to allow clubs to use the summer to conclude things domestically.

The league have now confirmed, however, that next season will commence on Saturday 12 September, and conclude on 23 May, 2021.

The EFL have also confirmed that the Championship and Leagues 1 and 2 will return on the same date.

Most clubs will consequentially be able to fit in a short six-week break, although the season starts less than three weeks after the Champions League final, which takes place on 23 August.

The season will start behind closed doors, though there have been suggestions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson that sporting events could have limited attendances again from October. If Johnson's most optimistic timescale is correct, then the first three rounds of fixtures - except for those selected for trial attendances - will be played at empty stadiums, with fans returning in some capacity thereafter.

Other measures introduced to help ease the load on players, such as scheduled water breaks and an increased limit on substitutions, are expected to continue, though there has been some opposition to the latter.

2020/21 will see Liverpool embark on their first ever Premier League title defence, and as is customary for the champions, their first league match of the season will be at Anfield.

They could face anyone other than Championship winners Leeds, who will play their first game at Elland Road after ousting West Brom and Brentford to top spot.

Further announcements are expected to follow on the 2020/21 FA Cup and EFL Cup.

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