Professional football in England has been further postponed in light of the developing coronavirus crisis. A joint statement from the FA and the relevant leagues has pushed the proposed date for restarting the 2019-20 season back to “no earlier than 30 April.”
This decision affects the top four divisions of the men’s game — the Premier League, the Championship, Leagues One and Two — as well as the Women’s Super League and the Women’s Championship. Ordinarily the rules and regulations governing English football mandate that a season must be concluded by June 1; however, given the exceptional circumstances this has been “extended indefinitely.”
The statement also reiterates that everybody wants this season to be played in full, one way or the other, and it looks as though they plan to stretch things out into the summer:
We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so. We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.
However, the statement makes no mention of non-league football: England’s sprawling network of semi-professional and amateur teams. It is being reported that representatives of the National League, England’s fifth and sixth tiers, would be approaching the FA for £17 million in emergency funding to ensure that clubs could remain solvent until the summer.