Premiership considering mid week fixtures to finish the season

Premiership considering mid week fixtures to finish the season

The Premiership is considering playing games behind closed doors, staging multiple matches at single venues and scheduling midweek fixtures in order to complete the 2019/20 Premiership season.

These are among options under discussion to see the season is completed with the competition currently on hold until at least April 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are nine remaining rounds of the competition remaining excluding the playoffs and final series with the new season just six months away.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Darren Childs accepts that summer rugby is “inevitable” if the competition is to have any chance of a successful conclusion.

Childs, who revealed that he and Premiership Rugby’s chief financial officer have taken wage-cuts to show solidarity with players amid the coronavirus crisis, says “all options are on the table”.

“Our number one priority is to find a way to play, and that is what we are all working on behind the scenes,” Childs told the PA news agency.

“We want to get this season finished, and if that means playing over the summer, then we will do that, as long as it is safe to do so. We won’t take any risks about anyone’s health and welfare.

We are looking at all kinds of ideas.

“Rugby does make an impact on medical staff and hospitals because of the nature of it, and that is an absolute priority for us to make sure we are not taking any of those resources away.

“Our aim is really clear. We are all working to try and hopefully be the first sport back on television, whether that is in a closed stadium or an open stadium.

“We are looking at all kinds of ideas – whether we do compressed weekends; whether we will play three or four rounds on one weekend from a single venue; we are looking at midweek games.

“It is inevitable that if we can restart, we are going to be playing through the summer.

“There is no plan at the current moment to delay the start of the 2020-21 season. These things might come close to each other this year, but I think it is a unique year and that maybe one of the scenarios we have to run.”

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