Harry Kane has said the Premier League season should be scrapped if it cannot be completed by the end of June.
The campaign has been suspended until 30 April at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic though many top-flight clubs are resigned to the shutdown being extended, with games possibly being played behind closed doors. Kane’s view is that it would be unworkable and impractical for the season to drift into the summer months.
“I know the Premier League will do everything they can to finish the season and that they are looking at every option possible,” said the Tottenham and England captain in an Instagram Live conversation with Jamie Redknapp. “We do need to try to finish the season but there needs to be a point where enough’s enough. Playing into July or August and pushing next season back, I don’t see too much benefit in that.
“Probably the limit for me is the end of June. If the season’s not completed by then we need to look at the options and just look forward to next season.”
Kane echoed the opinion of Aleksander Ceferin, the president of Uefa, who warned on Saturday that the season may never be completed if it cannot be restarted by June.
Ceferin said behind-closed-doors games would have to be considered if leagues were to finish across Europe but dismissed the notion of the Champions League or Europa League finals being played without fans present.
“If we don’t succeed in restarting, the season will probably be lost,” he told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. “Nobody knows when the pandemic will end. There is a plan A, B and C. The three options are to start again in mid-May, in June or at the end of June. There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next [season], starting the following one later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs.”
Professional football is at a near standstill across the world and there are nine outstanding games to be completed by the majority of Premier League clubs, and up to 12 in the Football League. Conversations between the Football Association and professional leagues are continuing and staging matches behind closed doors is one of several contingency measures being explored.
The Premier League’s stakeholders are set to reconvene for a conference call on Friday, with the resumption of the season, wage deferrals and player contracts likely to be key talking points. The FA has already taken the unprecedented step of expunging results for non-league divisions below the National League, leading to a backlash from several member clubs.
“It’s hard for me to imagine all the matches behind closed doors but we still don’t know whether we’ll resume, with or without spectators,” Ceferin said. “If there are no other alternatives, it would still be better to conclude the leagues. I can say I’m not thinking about staging the European cup finals behind closed doors.”