After a break of over 2 months due to the Coronavirus, football fans across the UK and Europe will be pleased to hear and read the phrase football returns, as most of Europe’s top leagues start to return to action, albeit in empty stadiums.
Slowly but surely football is starting to return to our lives, and with it bring some normality. First we had the resumption of the Bundesliga in Germany, shortly followed by Greece and Portugal.
Now there are more and more leagues planning returns, with Serie A, La Liga, and the Premier League all due to return over the next few weeks.
To help you out we have put together a comprehensive list of all the top leagues around Europe, with the latest updates of what the state of play is in that particular country.
Football Restart Dates After Coronavirus Delay
So what of Europe’s top leagues? France decided early to call off their season, but not many other nations decided to take that option.
Here’s our all you need to know guide to the dates when football returns around Europe after the Coronavirus outbreak.
Ligue 1 France – Already Over With PSG Champions
There was no messing around in France – well, with the football anyway – at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, as the LFP announced the season was finished at the back end of April.
Ligue 1 opted to use the same rules imposed on the lower levels of French football by the FFF (French Football Federation).
The meant the final positions in Ligue 1 were decided on average of points earned per match played, and as a result, PSG were crowned Champions…. again.
The Bundesliga Is Already Back
Is it any real surprise to see the German’s organised and back up and running first?
Having last played on the 8th March, the Bundesliga led the way and returned on 16th May, with 9 rounds of fixtures left to play.
Due to the Bundesliga being a sensible league and only having 18 teams, they will be completely finished just after most of the rest of Europe has just restarted.
Primeira Liga (Portuguese League)
Another league with just 18 teams in it, the Primeira Liga in Portugal only had 10 rounds of fixtures to complete when it resumed on Wednesday 3rd June.
The Primeira Liga will play to a natural conclusion before the end of July.
Greek Superleague Returns After Coronavirus
The Greek Superleague format was changed for the beginning of the 2019/20 season.
There is now a play-off structure in place, and when the league resumed on 6th June, it did so at the play-off stage. The league is still due to be played to a natural conclusion.
La Liga Fixtures In Place For Restart
In Spain they are looking to end the season at breakneck speed, with the remaining 11 fixtures each side is yet to play, to be completed in little over a month.
The league resumes on Thursday 11th June, with Sevilla V Real Betis, the first of the 28th round of matches. The remainder of Matchday 28 is then to be played across the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Premier League Has A Restart Date
The English Premier League (EPL) still has 9 full rounds (plus 2 outstanding matches) of fixtures to play.
So far 3 rounds of fixtures have been confirmed up until 2nd July, with more to follow.
The season is due to be played to a natural conclusion, but as yet, plans haven’t been released.
Serie A Has A Restart Date
Similar to England, Serie A has released a batch of fixtures, but the season’s end is yet to be finalised. There is a plan in place provisionally for the league to naturally end on the weekend of 1st and 2nd August.
I’m expecting that all matches will kick off at the same time, on the same day. So it will be either the 1st or the 2nd, not a combination of the two days.
Football Returns After Coronavirus – The Challenges
It’s clear that the returns of football leagues all across Europe after the Coronavirus outbreak is challenging.
Different league have different structures, and as a result, different problems.
We also need to understand that football is just a sport, and far bigger things are at stake here. And with safety the top priority, we need to bear in mind that public health concerns in each county also differ.
From a purely footballing perspective, Germany, Portugal and Greece look very likely to complete their seasons. Their respective structures mean that completing their seasons naturally isn’t as challenging for them, as it is for other nations.
Spain looks like it is pushing hard to complete their season, having squeezed every last ounce out of the calendar.
While in England and Italy, I do have some concerns they might struggle to get things finished, especially in England.
The threat of legal action in England will probably focus minds. But with clubs at the bottom looking for the league to be cancelled, might dirty tricks come into play?
And with 9 rounds of matches still to be played, we could be here til Christmas!.