The Premier League’s D-Day has arrived and the relegation fate of West Ham United and others is on the agenda.
The English top flight and EFL were shut until April 3rd and 4th due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That date will now almost certainly be pushed back in light of the latest government advice and orders.
West Ham were in the thick of what was promising to be an intense relegation battle between five of the bottom six clubs to avoid joining basement side Norwich in the Championship next season.
Top brass consensus disagrees with West Ham CEO Brady
Hammers CEO Karren Brady made her feelings clear that she wants the season declared void (The Sun).
But the general consensus is that the season must be completed, no matter when, to uphold the integrity of the competitions and decide titles, Champions League spots and – in West Ham’s case – relegation and promotion fairly.
The EFL reiterated that stance when they convened to discuss their future plans on Wednesday (Sky Sports).
But timescales and definitive plans will be dictated by the Premier League with West Ham joining the other 19 clubs for an emergency conference call meeting on Thursday morning.
Expert advice and various scenarios put forward to clubs
According to Sky Sports the call will include expert advice and clubs will receive modelling that shows various scenarios and its anticipated impact.
A number of options will be put to West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold and the other 19 club representatives.
A concrete timescale is unlikely according to Sky Sports but Brady’s “null and void” suggestion is unlikely to be implemented.
UEFA want all leagues concluded by June 30th. That in itself seems highly unlikely at the moment.
Dates and discussions but no decision… yet
So it is likely that discussions will take place on a contingency to decide the fate of West Ham and others should it not be possible to complete the season by the deadline set.
No definitive decision is expected from the meeting.
Further talks are planned next week.
But the meeting will likely set a cautionary revised date on when games could resume and start conversations on how to decide the various important factors such as relegation if the season cannot be completed to fit UEFA’s wider plan.