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Five-week Premier League bonanza: How the season is shaping up

The Premier League trophy could still be lifted this season. Credit: PA

As football ties itself in knots with a moral choice over player wages and staff furloughing that only it seems to find difficult to resolve, it is also trying to chart a return to action.

Every day those in charge with modelling that return, rip up another overly optimistic option in their theoretical calendar.

However, among all the various contingencies still on the table, according to a source close to the negotiations, there is one in particular that most Premier League clubs look likely to buy into, if and when they’re allowed to kick a ball in anger again.

It will take place during a five-week window starting sometime in June and it will be discussed today.

Keeping fans away from Liverpool's title-winning fixture could be problematic. Credit: PA

In simple terms, clubs would play twice a week behind closed doors, home and away as originally scheduled, with all games streamed on TV.

It is not ideal of course but everyone with a financial stake in England’s top league is desperate to get the current season done.

Geared to the maximum, the last thing the club’s need is to pay back near £800m to broadcasters for failing to keep the show on the road.

Most games would be shown on Sky’s platform and the remaining matches would be shared out between BT Sport, Amazon and the BBC.

The BBC will be included to compensate for the loss in value of its popular ‘Match of the Day’ highlights programme.

Sky as the senior Premier League partners would get the pick of the games, including of course Liverpool’s decisive championship-winning fixture.

There is however understandable anxiety about this particular match over fears that fans would congregate in their thousands, at whichever ground it took place, to celebrate the end of Liverpool’s title winning drought.

It will take a monumental effort to prevent them doing that and potentially take emergency services away from where they are more needed.

That is something football cannot risk and the government will not allow.

Games are likely to be played behind closed doors. Credit: PA

Bosses from the 20 clubs meet via teleconference again today where player’s wage adjustments will rightly be top of the agenda as the league confronts a PR disaster of catastrophic proportions.

But they must also discuss ‘what next?’.

The Premier League’s preferred choice would certainly suit UEFA who want to finish their club season by August after the domestic leagues have concluded.

Once they get the round of 16 matches completed in both the Champions and Europa Leagues, they plan a tournament-style end to both competitions.

This will require finding an extra two stadia at each final venue.

Istanbul has the facilities to cope with the Champions League, Gdansk will probably need to find a partner to share the load for the Europa League.

All well and good, but all these plans are at the mercy of something that is completely out of their control, something that is much bigger than sport and something that could yet keep football waiting for much longer than it wants or can afford.