Premier League clubs to vote on how to end season if coronavirus sees it cut short

By Laura ScottBBC Sport
Liverpool players celebrate winning the 2019-20 Premier League title
Liverpool won their first league title in 30 years last season after the restart - but there were calls for the 2019-20 season to be ended because of the coronavirus pandemic

Premier League clubs will vote on Tuesday to decide how the season would be ended if it cannot be completed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs agreed in principle on the main points of action if it is cut short at their last meeting in August.

The wording of the new rule has been developed over the past few weeks.

Clubs will vote at a shareholders meeting on Tuesday and, if the motion is passed, it will be written into the Premier League rules.

Another vote would then take place at a future date on how many matches will need to have been played for the rules to be applied.

BBC Sport understands the range will be around two thirds to three quarters of matches played. If the season has not reached that agreed point then it would be voided.

Meanwhile, the issue of any bailout for the English Football League is not a specific proposal on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, and there will be no vote.

BBC Sport has been told there will be a focus on what happens next, given the different financial picture facing clubs following the announcement about fans last week.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC on Sunday he was "hopeful" the Premier League would confirm it would help lower-league clubs this week.

But it is now unlikely a rescue package will be agreed this week.

How might the rules work?

If five games have been played and a new set of restrictions are introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic, then the league would not fall back on these plans.

If it got to the end of December and about 45% of the season had been played, then that is still not likely to be enough for the plans to kick in, and the season would be voided.

If the clubs agree that 66% of games is a sufficient number to fall back on the curtailment plans and the country then faces another lockdown, forcing football to be halted after 70% of the season has been played, there would be a set of rules to determine who would be crowned champions, who would finish in European qualification places and which teams would be relegated.