The 2020/21 Premier League season will start just six weeks after the previous one finished. Here’s what we know so far…
When does the 2020/21 Premier League season start?
The Premier League has revealed the 2020/21 season will start on Saturday September 12.
The 29th campaign was originally due to begin on August 8 but coronavirus has impacted the football calendar; the new season will commence just six weeks after the 2019/20 one will have finished.
However, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Wolves are expected to be given extra time off by the Premier League should they go into the latter stages of their respective European competitions.
The Premier League is likely to ring-fence a guaranteed 30 days off for players to recover, from the day after their final European game of this season.
When will the 2020/21 Premier League season finish?
The season is scheduled to finish on Sunday May 23, 2021 – just 19 days before the rescheduled Euro 2020 kicks off.
Who’s up, who’s down?
Image:Leeds are back in the Premier League
Leeds are back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence, while West Brom sealed the second automatic promotion spot after a topsy-turvy final day of the Championship season.
Fulham will join them after beating Brentford in the play-off final at Wembley.
Norwich made an immediate return to the second tier, with Watford and Bournemouth relegated on the final day.
When will the fixtures be released?
That date has not yet been confirmed – but we’ll bring you the full schedule on Sky Sportsas soon as it is out.
When will fans be allowed back?
Image:Manchester United fans celebrate a derby victory but when will supporters be allowed back?
The season will begin behind closed doors but some spectators could to return to venues on a socially-distanced basis later in the year.
Clubs discussed bringing fans back to grounds at a Premier League meeting on July 24.
Reports have suggested grounds may only initially be between 30 and 50 per cent full and attendance at sporting events for the foreseeable future will be subject to a number of strict conditions.
Bundesliga clubs have agreed a plan to allow fans back into stadiums, potentially as early as the 2020-21 season-opener on Friday September 18, though the final decision will be made by local politicians in each of the country’s 16 federal states. No away fans would be allowed in stadiums until at least the end of 2020.
What will be new next season?
Image:The Premier League will be able to decide whether or not to adopt five substitutes next season
After adopting five substitutes in the Premier League, and nine players on the bench, after the coronavirus restart in 2019/20 because of the sheer number of games, it’s back to normal for the new season after clubs voted in favour of scrapping the new rule at their AGM on August 6.
PGMOL chief Mike Riley presented a VAR review to clubs in their July meeting and at the AGM, it was agreed to implement the full FIFA VAR protocol, introducing a number of new measures for the 2020/21 season.
The referee review area – the screen at the side of the pitch which often drew criticism for its lack of use last season – will be used more for subjective decisions over goals, red cards and penalties.
Any part of player’s body that is on the ground when a penalty kick is taken will be classed as encroachment. So if any part of the foot is on the penalty area or arc line, it will be seen to be encroaching. The player must still have a material impact on the outcome of the kick.
Assistant referees will be told to keep their flags down in the case of marginal offside calls where a goalscoring opportunity is likely to follow immediately, until the passage of play is completed.
Once the goal scoring opportunity is complete – either a goal is scored or the chance is gone – they will then raise the flag to indicate the initial offence. If a goal is scored, the VAR will then review the offside judgement.
Penalties will no longer be automatically retaken if the goalkeeper infringes in the build-up to a spot-kick. A goalkeeper’s offence must “clearly affect” the penalty-taker for a spot-kick to be retaken if missed.
In addition, Yellow cards will also no longer be carried into penalty shoot-outs. So if a goalkeeper had previously received a yellow card in the match and an infringement drew another yellow card, they would not be sent off.
Meanwhile, plenty of clubs have released new kits for the forthcoming campaign and Nike has released its new ‘Flight’ ball – one they said addresses “inconsistent aerodynamics”.
Image:Nike say their Flight ball – for the 2020/21 Premier League season – addresses ‘issues of inconsistent aerodynamics through a revolutionary ball design’
Image:The design for the Nike Flight ball reflects some of the notable characteristics of Premier League gameplay
When is the transfer window?
The window will run for 10 weeks this summer.
It opened on Monday July 27 and will close on Monday October 5 at 11pm.
An additional domestic-only window will run from October 5 to 5pm on October 16 but Premier League clubs will only be able to trade with EFL clubs – for either loans or permanent registrations – and will not be able to do business with other Premier League clubs or clubs abroad.
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