How are the different European leagues dealing with the current pandemic?
The Coronavirus pandemic has continued to cause mass cancellations of sporting events around the world, which is leading to financial difficulties for many. Both the Olympic games and European championships have been moved to 2021, and the footballing world is now in the process of making some very important decisions. So how are a number of the biggest leagues in Europe dealing with the pandemic? This also comes as UEFA have set a deadline of August 2nd for countries to have completed their domestic leagues.
New lockdown rules were put into force in France, which has meant that both the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons have now been cancelled. That has meant that PSG were again crowned champions for the ninth time in their history and for the third year in succession. It has also led to Marseille now qualifying for the group stages of the Champions league and Rennes will also go into the qualification rounds. Both Lille and Nice will also now go directly into the Europa league group stage next season and Reims will go into the qualification rounds. This is something that Lyon are not happy with and are now considering league action against the league. They believe this will cost them ‘tens of millions of euros’, due to no European football next season. Lyon were nine points outside on the top four at the time of cancellation.
This is a major difference to the Dutch Eredivisie, who have not awarded the championships to leaders Ajax and on top of this have also cancelled both the promotion and relegation. However, they have still took the league table as it was.
Other major leagues across Europe from Germany, England, Italy and Spain all appear to be looking to finish their domestic seasons, which is also being pushed by UEFA. The Bundesliga returned over the weekend, with both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund returning with wins. Both are being supported for the title in the William Hill 2020 markets and it now sets up for a fascinating finish to the season.
The Serie A in Italy continues to look doubtful for a return, despite them edging towards a means of resumption. This comes in a country that have been one of the worst affected by the pandemic. In Spain it is a different story and La Liga has now been given the green light to go ahead. They are now back training with the league set to resume in the coming weeks.
There has been limited information from the Premier league to date, but they are also very much looking to resume the season when possible, once the shutdown is over. It all sets up for a very interesting period ahead, as more information and progress is made on decisions each week.