Top-flight clubs set to dis­cuss pol­icy of hav­ing all games on live tele­vi­sion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport / Covid Crisis - By Ben Rumsby

Premier League clubs will meet next week to de­cide whether to con­tinue to al­low all their games to be tele­vised live in the UK af­ter mak­ing another full round of matches avail­able.

Clubs yes­ter­day ap­proved an ex­ten­sion of the cur­rent pol­icy – although only un­til the in­ter­na­tional break – hav­ing pre­vi­ously re­versed their de­ci­sion to block fans watch­ing 160 matches this sea­son, most of which now look set to be played be­hind closed doors due to the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

Clubs must now de­cide whether to con­tinue to award fur­ther games to Sky Sports, BT Sport, Ama­zon and the BBC, find an al­ter­na­tive method of show­ing them or risk the wrath of fans by reim­pos­ing a black­out on more than 40 per cent of them.

Yes­ter­day also saw the Premier League scrap 8.15pm kick-offs while the Gov­ern­ment’s new 10pm curfew on pubs re­mains in force.

Tues­day’s an­nounce­ment by Boris John­son led to Liver­pool’s clash with Arse­nal on Mon­day be­ing brought for­ward by 15 min­utes, with the orig­i­nal kick-off time of 8.15pm risk­ing those watch­ing in bars po­ten­tially miss­ing its cli­max. That had prompted a back­lash from fans on so­cial me­dia, with one user writ­ing: “Look­ing for­ward to Liver­pool and Arse­nal fans get­ting booted out of the pub on Mon­day when the match is at 85 min­utes.”

Ful­ham’s show­down with As­ton Villa was also brought for­ward by 15 min­utes to 5.45pm to en­sure no prospect of the games over­lap­ping.

It was un­clear yes­ter­day what the pub curfew, which begins tonight, would mean for Carabao Cup ties that could go to penal­ties. Liver­pool travel to Lin­coln City and Manch­ester City host Bournemout­h in 7.45pm kick-offs.

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