Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters has revealed he hopes to start the 2020/21 season in late August or early September.
Top-flight officials have pencilled in June for the resumption date for the current 2019/2020 campaign although the exact date has yet to be set.
Players returned to small-group training at the beginning of last week to get themselves ready for the remaining nine fixtures with contact training allowed from today.
Masters’ hopes for an August start will depend on whether they can finish this season by the end of July.
“There will come a point when next season becomes difficult to schedule,” Masters explained. “We are not at that point yet.
“The June return and July finish leaves time for a break for other competitions to be completed and start the season towards the end of August or very early September.
“Obviously what we want to do is ensure the season is completed in a way which preserves other competitions, but also preserves our ability to start and deliver 38 match rounds next season in a proper calendar.
“Given we are trying to get the season away in a slightly truncated situation, we may look at some interesting scheduling options.
“Nothing we can confirm yet, but we’ve got to make it work for everybody.”
The West Ham United Official Supporters’ Club has written to existing members tonight to extend their membership for free until May 2021.
The email to members read: ‘The Committee has decided that, with the continuing uncertainty surrounding when we will be allowed to attend matches, we will extend all memberships for free until the end of the 2020/21 season.
With five home games left in 2019/20 and the probability of a significant delay to allowing fans to attend games next season we could end up missing most of a whole season. We recognise your fantastic support since the new Committee took over the running of the Supporters’ Club so we feel it is only right to simply extend existing memberships until a date where we should have some clarity on the future.
Of course, we do need funds to continue running the club and rely on membership fees to cover some of our costs so once we know that we can start running our Matchday bar again we will ask members to make a voluntary donation to cover whatever remains of the season. It will be completely voluntary though but we know from feedback already received that members would be happy to simply renew for next season anyway and would like to make a donation so we will give everyone the opportunity to do so.
Any Junior Hammers who reach their 18th birthday prior to 31 May 2021 will be automatically upgraded to an Adult membership for no charge and will obviously still receive their free 18th birthday drink voucher albeit we don’t yet know when they will be able to cash it in!
Please keep looking out for each other, especially those in the vulnerable categories, and take care of yourselves!
We can’t wait to see you at the Matchday Bar as soon as possible!”
The 70-year-old organisation shut their Castle Street clubhouse in 2017 due to health and safety concerns and opened a match day bar at Stour Space.
The beginning of this season they moved to the upstairs Last Drop bar (previously called the Podium bar) close to the London Stadium.
Four more people from three Premier League clubs have tested positive for coronavirus after the third round of testing.
There were 1,008 tests carried out on Monday and Tuesday.
Two people from two Premier League clubs tested positive after the second batch of testing with Bournemouth confirming one unnamed player.
A total of 996 tests were carried out in the second run of testing, with the number of tests available to each club increased from 40 to 50.
All 20 clubs have now carried out three rounds of testing,
A total of 748 tests were conducted in the first round of testing with six testing positive.
Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan tested positive with Watford having three positive test results for two staff and defender Adrian Mariappa
Watford manager Nigel Pearson announce that two more of his players had gone into self-isolation after being in close contact with people who have tested positive.
Prior to widespread testing three Brighton players tested positive, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi was also confirmed to have had the virus with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta one of the first-named in the health crisis.
Episode forty-five of season nine of the popular West Ham podcast Moore Than Just A Podcast is now available to listen online or download. Join Claret and Hugh Associate editor Sean Whetstone with fellow presenter Nigel Kahn and guest presenter Canning Town Len.
With no Premier League football games for 8 days, the podcast crew discuss a variety of West Ham news stories covered on Claret and Hugh for the past eight days including Zoomgate, the Ngakia story and the chances of West Ham getting relegated.
We also discuss our German Bundesliga experiences before answering questions from social media in this two hour and 33-minute episode.
West Ham celebrity supporter Russell Brand joined Hammer’s legend Tony Cottee on the Any Old Irons podcast to discuss how he’s getting on in lockdown and all things West Ham.
Brand explained that he’s based at his home in the countryside, just outside London, alongside his wife, two young daughters and two dogs, saying: “As far as things go I’m in a pretty fortunate position.”
Brand commented: “Obviously everyone was West Ham out in Grays, Essex. You’d meet the occasional Spurs fan or Arsenal fan or even the North West Clubs who sneak down South to gather up fans but certainly the norm was Claret and Blue.”
Brand and Cottee recounted their favourite players and their enjoyment of watching matches under the floodlights and with Brand noting that he was introduced to West Ham United by his father, Cottee asked him what makes him most proud to be a West Ham fan.
The Actor stated: “There’s a romanticism, I think, to supporting West Ham. I think the fans are beautiful, the people that work at the club, Lesley, Babs, people that you meet behind doors running the hospitality or the players’ lounge or like the people that you meet at the backstage areas of the club. There’s a kind of sense of community, togetherness and a kind of bottled East End spirit.
“Because in recent memory we’ve not won anything, not since 1980 or something. There’s a feeling that it’s about the beauty of the game, whether it’s yourself [Tony Cottee] or Trevor Brooking or Bobby Moore or Alan Devonshire or Paulo Di Canio, Julian Dicks, there’s a certain spirit and that’s what makes me proud.”
Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.
Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.
The Premier League say their priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants.
Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible and players and staff will continue to be tested twice a week.
Stage Two of the Return to Training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA and the Government say the Premier League.
Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season, when conditions allow.
Shareholders are due to meet tomorrow to discuss a settlement package with the broadcasters, sanctions for players or clubs that break stage two protocols as well as discussions options of deciding places should the season be curtailed.
Claret and Hugh say:
This vote for contact training was always going through on the nod without any real dissent from the Premier League shareholders. Top-flight clubs are now free to resume full content training subject to government guidelines and Premier League protocols as they gear up for the league to re-start in June. Tomorrow they will discuss what penalties will be in place for clubs or players that break these protocols but it remains unlikely a restart date will be chosen this week.
The UEFA deadline of 25th May came and went on Monday without a decision and the prospect of a restart on 12th June seems to be slipping away now. It is much more likely that the top-flight league will resume on 19th or 26th June with Premier League CEO Richard Masters publicly admitting this week that the restart date is flexible.
News that Aaron Cresswell has been missing from pictures of training sessions at Rush Green raises the obvious suspicion that his comments on football’s return may still be very much in his mind.
Cress has spoken out against a fast return saying that he was personally terrified of the situation given that he has a young child and has made a point of preaching a safety first message.
Perhaps more, or certainly as interesting, is that Ben Johnson has now been added to the squad given that with Ryan Fredericks fit and ready to return at right back, the teenager is perfectly capable of playing on the left side of the back four.
Arthur Masuaku of course could easily be considered the wrong choice by David Moyes given Wolves’ attacking prowess and the player’s poor defensive record.
Although a natural right footer Johnson in no way looked out of place when playing at left back on a 53 minute debut at Manchester City and has long been touted as the next big Hammers star in waiting.
At this stage nobody is ready to give away too much information and it will be interesting to see whether Jeremy Ngokia – who appears to be on the verge of quitting West Ham – is involved at all. It seems unlikely.
And that would look to suggest that should Cresswell finally decide that he is uncomfortable with a return, Johnson could get, what at one stage, looked like a surprise call up.
The bulk of the remaining 92 games will take place over weekends, but there is believed to be a push from broadcasters to show some games in midweek.
That would see a Champions League style format take over with kick-offs at 6pm and 8pm.
Sky and BT Sport have the live rights to 47 games and the remaining 45 will be further shared. Sky would get 32, BT eight and five would go to Amazon and the BBC.
Sky Sports will be one of the broadcasters airing the remaining Premier League fixtures
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has also seen the traditional 3pm Saturday blackout indefinitely lifted.
The Premier League looks set to get underway on June 12 or June 19 with a decision likely to be closer by the end of the week.
Clubs will discuss the fixture list in further detail in another Premier League meeting on Thursday. They face huge bills of £340million to repay TV companies even if the season is completed, while £762m would be owed if the remaining games cannot be played.
ClaretandHugh says: Some may call it a bonanza, others overkill and still others far too much far too soon. Frankly, I’m not sure the majority of fans will be wanting to watch wall to wall football over the weekend with kick offs every two hours which is why I personally hope that once football returns to normal Amazon gets a larger share of the cake where he can tune into which ever match particularly interest you before moving on to other viewing. We understand why such a plan would be put in place but of more significance from where we sit is with the 3pm Saturday blackout lifted given the pandemic will it ever return. If that’s scrapped – as it could be quite simply – football fans might be on the brink of a real bonanza by being able to watch live TV football permanently. Should games continue behind closed doors next season that becomes an even greater possibility . Interesting times ahead.
It is that time of year when mock-ups of West Ham’s new kit tend to emerge and this year no different with social media awash with ideas and supposed mockups.
This kit caught our eye and seems to be going well with supporters with the nice added touch of an NHS sleeve logo to replace the now-defunct Basset & Gold who went into administration. This summer marks the 125th Anniversary of the formation of the Thames Ironworks and the new home shirt is claimed to celebrate that achievement.
Whether this Umbro mock-up bears any likeness to the actual kit yet to be released remains to be seen.
West Ham extended their Umbro deal last year to extend the partnership until 2023.
The West Ham United Official Supporters Board were involved in the design for 2020/2021 through a kit design subgroup.
Last year the three new kits were released on 31st May but no date has yet been released for this year for the big reveal.
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