Well yesterday we warned of short notice cancellations to games, and within a couple of hours of our blog going live it was announced that the next 2 weeks Premier League fixtures would be suspended.
This means there will be no Premier League football until 4th April – after the international break.
After the international break, there are 6 weeks of football left if the authorities still want the league season to finish on 17th May. That simply is not enough time to complete every game.
Having been knocked out of the Europa League by Olympiakos, Arsenal have no games currently scheduled for mid-week. That leaves 6 mid-week slots where games could be re-arranged.
We already have to re-arrange Manchester City, Brighton & Southampton. It is likely the FA will follow the Premier League’s lead and postpone next weekends FA Cup ties. This leaves us with 4 games to be re-arranged.
If Arsenal beat Sheffield United, the fixture against Leicester will also need to be re-arranged.
5 games re-arranged with 6 available mid-week slots. It is doable. But Arsenal are out of Europe.
Manchester City are still in the Champions League.
They already have 4 league games that need re-arranging: Fixtures against Newcastle, Burnley, Chelsea and Arsenal. The FA Cup game against Newcastle will make it 5.
On top of that they also need to re-arrange the Champions League 2nd leg tie against Real Madrid.
So that is 6 games they need to re-arrange, with 6 mid-week slots. But those 6 mid-week slots are only available if they are knocked out of the Champions League.
If Manchester City make it to the Semi-Final, that means they only have 2 mid-weeks with no football. 6 into 2 does not go.
They would have 17 games to play (excluding finals) and just 42 days to play them. That is a game every 2.5 days.
Manchester United face a similar fixture pile up.
They already had the games against Sheffield United and LASK in the Europa League to re-arrange. With this weeks game against Tottenham and Norwich in the FA Cup set to be cancelled.
That is 4 games that need to be re-arranged. If they make the Europa League semi-finals and beat Norwich in the FA Cup, they will have 9 games needed to be played in 4 mid-weeks.
Chelsea also face a similar situation.
Even if they use the mid-weeks prior to the FA Cup & Champions League final, there are simply not enough days in the calender to complete the season before the end of May.
Unless they are expecting Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United to play a game every 2-3 days, the Premier League will have no choice but to either extend or cancel the season.