The Premier League’s plan to restart its 2019-20 season on June 17 — exactly 100 days after shuttering in March in response to the coronavirus pandemic — is welcome news for voracious followers of the world’s most popular domestic soccer circuit.
It’s the latest sign that other globally relevant leagues like the NFL and NBA might also return in due time. The NHL plans on coming back in July. The NWSL, widely considered the world’s best women’s soccer league, will become the first North American league to return when it kicks off June 27.
The rest aren’t quite there yet. The NFL continues to act like like it will be business as usual this fall, at least publicly. Both the NBA and MLS are in talks with the Walt Disney Company, owners of broadcasting behemoth ESPN, about hosting all of their teams and games at the sprawling sports complex in Orlando, Florida, but nothing has been agreed to yet. Major League Baseball’s team owners and players are still at an impasse over money.
Still, you can be sure that the top executives in those USA-based organizations will be watching what happens with the Premier League with keen eyes. Its decisions will inform theirs. It’s a test run of sorts that will help determine how successful their own plans to restart will be.
Like the United States, the United Kingdom has been very hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. has suffered over 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, more than any other nation in the world. The U.K. is second, with more than 37,000. Per capita, Britain’s toll is almost twice as grim as America’s.