It’s been a long time without top-flight football across Europe, but that suspension looks set to increase further.
Football in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany was due to resume later this month, but that deadline looks highly unlikely.
The Bundesliga joined the other top four leagues – La Liga, Premier League, Serie A and Ligue 1 – last month when they suspended all action until the end of April.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt to most sporting action throughout the continent. The Belarusian football divisions are seemingly the only nation going ahead with their competitions.
The crisis has affected both club and national team action. The Champions League and Europa League campaigns have taken a hit this season. And Euro 2020 will now take place next summer.
Formula 1, international cricket, tennis and golf events have all been similarly impacted. Major sporting events such as the 2020 Olympics have also been postponed.
And just like the competitions, athletes are now starting to feel the effects. Premier League players have been donating to several charities across the country, while several managers have also been helping out with their salaries.
The players have recently joined together to pledge money to frontline NHS staff, while bosses like England’s Gareth Southgate and Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe have already taken pay cuts.
And Southampton have recently become the first Premier League side to announce their players will defer part of their salaries due to the crisis.
The English Football League have also been busy with plans for the near future. Clubs within the divisions have been told that the season could be completed within 56 days when conditions allow it.
With the action looking increasingly unlikely to return, many possible alternatives have been mentioned.
And one possible decision could involve finishing the respective campaigns this summer. That would involve playing games behind closed doors, perhaps in June and July.
It would be a welcome return to many fans. Despite not being able to see their teams at the stadium, broadcasters would still show the action on television.
The leagues could, therefore, resume sooner rather than later.
It’s currently 51/5 for La Liga to be the first European top-flight to return to action. It’s 41/5 for Serie A to return first, with the Bundesliga available at 8/11.
Like La Liga, France’s Ligue 1 is available at 51/5.
And it’s currently 3/1 for the English Premier League to resume first.