After restarting with very few teething troubles, the Bundesliga has whetted most football fans’ appetite for more action from around the globe as the sport continues to rebuild following the Covid-10 pandemic.
The good news for football fans everywhere is the right noises are currently being made for more football to come back over the next few weeks.
Here’s our round-up of the current state of play in English football, La Liga and Serie A*…
When are leagues returning?
When is the Premier League back?
It’s now official: the Premier League will return on 17th June.
With the reassuring news that the first few sets of Covid tests have seen relatively few positive results, all 20 clubs have now agreed a mid-June restart.
The league will start with the two games in hand outstanding from earlier this season, Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal.
Under the proposals, the full fixture list would then be reinstated on the weekend of 19th-21st June.
With the Bundesliga helping provide a blueprint on playing within strict government guidelines, the signs look overwhelmingly encouraging for Premier League action to be returning to a screen near you within the next few weeks.
When is the Championship back?
It’s now been confirmed that, subject to clearing all safety requirements and government guidance, the Championship will return in full on Saturday 20th June.
The league campaign was originally suspended on 8th March. The EFL has stated its intention that the league will now be played to its conclusion, followed by the play-off semi finals and finals, with all action wrapped up by the end of July.
Due to the condensed nature of the revised schedule, discussions are ongoing about whether teams will be permitted to use larger matchday squads and up to five substitutes.
When is League One back?
This looks to be the trickiest conversation of all across all three leagues, with no consensus agreed on how to move forward, and many club chairmen with diametrically-opposed views on how the 2019/20 season should be ended.
Given a 51% majority is required to end the season, it seems momentum is shifting in favour of curtailment, particularly given this would make pragmatic financial sense for teams in mid-table, never mind the self-preservation of the teams currently guaranteed promotion, play-off places or safety by the PPG formula.
It would be particularly harsh on those teams just out of play-off reach, with Peterborough, Sunderland and Ipswich all thought to be strongly in favour of completing the campaign.
When is League Two returning?
It seems unlikely, given clubs have overwhelmingly expressed a desire to end the season, although any decision has yet to be ratified.
The League Two campaign could be back in some form, however, with play-off games likely to determine the outstanding promotion place.
If the league is settled on points per game, Swindon, Crewe and Plymouth would move up to League One, while Cheltenham, Exeter, Colchester Utd and Northampton would contest the play-offs.
There would be no reprieve for rock-bottom Stevenage, who would be relegated under the proposals.
When is La Liga returning?
The La Liga season is set to resume on the 11th June – and in some style – with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis.
Matches are expected to take place behind closed doors every day of the week until the final day of the season, currently scheduled for 19th July.
Weekday matches look set to kick off at 18:30 and 21:00, with three slots for weekend games of 16:00, 18:30 and 21:00. Some weekend games may also take place at 12:00, depending on weather conditions given the expected heat at this time of year.
La Liga players resumed training in groups of no more than 10 in May.
Barcelona lead Real Madrid by two points at the top of the table.
When is Serie A back?
Serie A finally looks set to return on Saturday 20th June – in line with the Premier League’s full return.
The league was suspended on the 9th March, but Italian sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has given the green light for matches to return.
Players returned to individual training earlier this month with group sessions restarting in late May.
The FIGC (Italian football federation) has also confirmed they intend for all three of Italy’s top divisions to play to a conclusion.
Serie A league leaders Juventus are separated by just one point from Lazio after 26 games played.
*Information on league restart dates correct as of 1st June