Premier League & EFL suspension extended to April 30th due to Covid-19 outbreak
The FA have announced that all professional football throughout England will be suspended until 30 April at the earliest, following a crunch meeting between top-flight chiefs on Thursday afternoon.
Initially, the return of all elite football across the country was scheduled for 3 April. However, due to the rising severity of the coronavirus pandemic which is currently sweeping the UK, that date has now been pushed back a further four weeks.
The governing body released a statement on Thursday, which said: "The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19.
"We're united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.
"We've collectively supported UEFA in postponing Euro 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.
"The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate no later than June 1” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.
"However, our Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we've collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday, April 30.
"The progress of Covid-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone that the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.
"We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.
"We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19."
With Uefa announcing earlier this week that Euro 2020 will be postponed until next year, there is now some much-needed space in the footballing calendar for Premier League games to be played throughout the summer.
Initially, Uefa had ambitiously stated that they wanted each domestic campaign across Europe to be finalised by no later than 1 June, but that deadline has now been extended due to this latest pushback.
It is not yet known when non-league football in England is able to resume, but it isn’t likely to be any time in the immediate future.