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Football authorities warn of "difficult decisions" ahead as coronavirus crisis continues


The Premier League, Football League and Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) have stated that some "difficult decisions" will need to be made amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The top five divisions in English football are currently on hold until April 30 at the earliest, having initially been suspended until next weekend.

There is thought to be a general will among Premier League clubs for the 2019/20 campaign to be completed.

UEFA have postponed the European Championship until summer 2021 in order to create additional room in the calendar for the domestic leagues.

And FIFA are also considering ways to extend players' contract and registration periods beyond June 30, when hundreds of footballers are set to become free agents.

However, there are increasing fears that the campaign may be declared null and void after the Football Association cancelled all non-league divisions below the National League, National League North and National League South this week.

The Premier League, Football League and PFA met on Friday to discuss potential ways forward, taking into account the various sporting and financial implications.

"The Premier League, EFL and PFA met today and discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic," they said in a joint statement.

"It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organisations continue to be with everyone affected by the virus.

"The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions."

The governing bodies are set to further talks next week in an attempt to come up with a plan for the weeks and months ahead.

"The leagues will not recommence until April 30 at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow," added the statement.

"Further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans."


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