Just seven weeks after the curtain came down on the most disrupted season in the Premier League era, English soccer’s elite are ready to do it all over again.
Champions Liverpool romped to their first domestic title in 30 years last time out, with Jürgen Klopp’s all-conquering side capping a remarkably dominant campaign to secure the Premier League trophy in June with seven games to spare. Joining them and their rivals in the top flight this year are the newly promoted trio of Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, each of whom can expect an uphill battle for survival within world soccer’s richest, and arguably most competitive, league.
In reality, though, every club in the competition will be grappling with newfound financial challenges this year. Even the likes of Abu Dhabi-oiled Manchester City and oligarch-bankrolled Chelsea will be forced to reckon with the prospect of spectator-free venues for the foreseeable future, not to mention the possibility of further disruption to come as the coronavirus pandemic continues to carve an unpredictable path.
What it all means for the Premier League’s bottom line remains to be seen. Few could have predicted the job that awaited Richard Masters when he was appointed as the league’s permanent chief executive in December. A calendar year that began with a ‘ground-breaking’ Scandinavian TV rights deal with NENT Group and comparatively benign talk surrounding a new