UEFA are tentatively scheduling a mini-tournament period in August to conclude this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions, according to The Daily Express.
The report states that matches will be completed over a three-week period, but the proposal can only work if each involved country’s domestic campaign has resumed by the middle of June.
For the Champions League, that means that the English, Spanish, Italian, German and French leagues will need to have resumed, but for the Europa League the situation is more complicated, with the clubs from the Ukraine, Turkey, Denmark, Greece, Scotland, Switzerland and Austria still involved.
With Premier League bosses already having earmarked resuming the domestic league over the course of June and July, with an ideal completion date of July 16th to fulfill TV obligations, it leaves Manchester United with a clearer picture of how their season might be scheduled.
The Red Devils face the prospect of completing the Premier League first – when a fourth place finish would guarantee them Champions League football next season and fifth would suffice if Manchester City’s UEFA ban is upheld. Then, they would go on to complete the Europa League, where they are already practically guaranteed a place in the quarter finals after having thrashed Austrian side LASK 5-0 in the first leg of the round of 16.
If this were the case, United would resume the Europa League already knowing whether they needed to win the competition to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
In theory, the remaining Europa games could overlap with the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season if that also starts in August. This would raise significant questions from a transfer point of view, in that players who leave their club during the summer transfer window would not be available to play and yet players brought in to replace them would not be eligible to play for their new club.
The FA have also expressed a commitment to try to complete this season’s FA Cup, so the gap between the Premier League’s July 16th completion target and the Europa League’s August resumption could allow that competition to also be completed.
If both the Premier League’s and UEFA’s plans come to fruition, the Red Devils’ summer calendar would look something like this:
June 13th/14th: Premier League – Spurs (A)
June 16th/17th: Premier League – Sheffield United (H)
June 20th/21st: Premier League – Brighton (A)
June 23rd/24th: Premier League – Bournemouth (H)
June 27th/28th: Premier League – Aston Villa (A)
June 30th/July 1st: Premier League – Southampton (H)
July 4th/5th: Premier League – Crystal Palace (A)
July 8th/9th: Premier League – West Ham (H)
July 11th/12th: Premier League – Leicester City (A)
July 18th/19th: FA Cup Quarter Final – Norwich City (A)
July 22nd/23rd: FA Cup Semi Final
July 25th/26th : FA Cup Final
August 3rd: Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg – LASK (H)
August 6th: Europa League Quarter Final 1st Leg
August 8th: Premier League 2020/21 Matchday 1
August 10th: Europa League Quarter Final 2nd Leg
August 13th: Europa League Semi Final 1st Leg
August 15th: Premier League 2020/21 Matchday 2
August 17th: Europa League Semi Final 2nd Leg
August 22nd: Premier League 2020/21 Matchday 3
August 24th: Europa League Final
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