Project Restart: What is the state of play in Europe's top leagues?

Bundesliga has returned; Premier League, La Liga, Serie A hoping to resume; Scottish Premiership, Ligue 1 and Eredivisie seasons over

Arthur Melo celebrates with Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi

Some football seasons are over but other leagues are making plans to return. This is the current situation around Europe.

England - Premier League

The Premier League is set to resume on Wednesday June 17.

The league, which still has 92 fixtures to complete, will restart with Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal.

Sky Sports will show 64 live Premier League games, and make 25 available free-to-air when the season resumes.

EFL

Championship clubs are due to return to training from May 25 following the first round of testing.

Two individuals from Hull returned positive tests and will now self-isolate before being tested again. Players have been given the option of testing from home or being tested by club medical staff or external professionals.

There is still no testing programme or plan in place for League One or League Two clubs so they will not restart training yet - however pitches can be opened for individuals to work on.

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In terms of finishing the season, the EFL board have looked at three different situations currently facing the Championship, League One and League Two, in determining how to conclude the 2019/20 campaign.

League One remains the most contentious issue, with the 23 clubs failing to agree to a way forward for concluding the season.

League Two appears to have found a way forward but while an indicative vote provides a direction, there are still hurdles to climb - especially with the 'no relegation' issue. The EFL has said that keeping promotion and relegation from all three of its division is "integral" to the "integrity" of the leagues.

Non-League

National League clubs have voted in favour of ending the 2019/20 at its current point and cancelling all remaining fixtures.

Ninety per cent of the National League clubs supported a motion in favour of bringing an end to the leagues, which have been suspended since March 16.

The options concerning promotion and relegation in the National League, National League North and National League South of the current campaign remain "under careful and timely consideration".

Scotland - Premiership

The Celtic team celebrate winning the match and the title after the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Image: Will Celtic be handed the Scottish Premiership title?

Celtic have been crowned Scottish Premiership champions for the ninth successive season after the SPFL opted to curtail the current campaign.

The SPFL held a board meeting where they decided to bring the season to an end, meaning Celtic were awarded a 51st league title but Hearts were relegated to the Championship for the second time since 2014.

As with the Championship, League One and League Two, final season placings in the Premiership have been determined by points per game in league matches played to March 13 by each club.

Scottish Championship, League One & League Two

Dundee voted in favour of an SPFL resolution, which resulted in the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two seasons ending.

Dundee United have been declared champions of the Championship, Raith Rovers champions of League One, and Cove Rangers champions of League Two.

Partick Thistle have been relegated from the Championship, while Stranraer were demoted from League One.

An investigation has found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the SPFL in relation to the submission of Dundee's vote on the resolution to end the lower leagues in Scotland. Scottish clubs rejected Rangers' bid for an investigation into the SPFL's conduct surrounding the vote to end the lower league seasons.

Italy - Serie A

Juventus were crowned Serie A champions for an eighth consecutive time
Image: Juventus were crowned Serie A champions for an eighth consecutive time in 2019

Serie A will resume on June 20 after the Italian government gave its approval.

Serie A was the first of Europe's major leagues to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with games postponed and played behind closed doors before the league was halted completely.

preview image 0:46
Valentina Fass explains the steps that would have to be put in place for Serie A football to return in Italy

Spain - La Liga

Will the La Liga be played to a finish behind closed doors?
Image: Will La Liga be played to a finish behind closed doors?

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has said La Liga can resume from June 8, with La Liga president Javier Tebas already stating his aim to play games every day of the week to get the league finished as quickly as possible.

Clubs in the top two divisions of Spanish football are back training in groups of up to 10 people and can train with full squads from June 1.

Spain's health minister Salvador Illa 0:28
Spain's health minister Salvador Illa says he cannot say that football in the country will return before summer

France - Ligue 1

PSG have been handed their seventh league title in eight years
Image: PSG have been handed their seventh league title in eight years

Paris Saint-Germain have been awarded the Ligue 1 title after the season was ended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

PSG, who have now won their seventh French title in the last eight years, held a 12-point lead over second-placed Marseille when the season was suspended in March.

Plans had originally been drawn up for the league to resume on June 17 and conclude on July 25, but the French top flight follows the Dutch Eredivisie as the second major European league season to be abandoned.

The Ligue 2 season is also over after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced no sporting events, even those behind closed doors, could take place before September.

A French judge has rejected appeals by Lyon, Amiens and Toulouse over the decision to end the season early. Amiens and Toulouse were relegated while Lyon missed out on Europe.

Germany - Bundesliga

The Bundesliga are hoping to restart on  May 9 behind closed doors
Image: The Bundesliga are hoping to restart on behind closed doors

The Bundesliga season restarted on May 16, with socially-distanced goal celebrations, substitutes wearing masks and even cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands.

What did we learn from the opening weekend's action? Read more here.

Netherlands - Eredivisie

Calvin Stengs of AZ Alkmaar, Owen Wijndal of AZ Alkmaar, Myron Boadu of AZ Alkmaar, Teun Koopmeiners of AZ Alkmaar, Dani de Wit of AZ Alkmaar celebrates the victory during the Dutch Eredivisie match between PSV v AZ Alkmaar at the Philips Stadium on October 27, 2019 0:53
Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan reacts to the news that the Eredivisie season has been voided

The Dutch Eredivisie season has been ended, meaning league leaders Ajax have been denied the title. Ajax were top of the Eredivisie table, ahead of AZ Alkmaar on goal difference, with nine rounds of matches to play when the season was suspended.

The Eredivisie has put Ajax forward to go directly to the play-offs of the Champions League, with AZ playing in the second qualifying round, while third-placed Feyenoord will go straight into the group stage of the Europa League with PSV and Willem II qualifying for the second qualifying round for the competition.

AZ have released a statement saying they are considering their options after indicating displeasure with the judgement, particularly in relation to the awarding of European places. The settlement of places for European competition next season is subject to ratification by UEFA.

EDWIN VAN DER SAR 0:20
Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar says it is 'pity' to be denied the chance to win the Eredivise title but understands why the season was cancelled

There will also be no promotion to the Dutch Eredivisie or relegation from the top flight, following an agreement reached over a video conference call between the Dutch FA (KNVB) and clubs.

Belgium - Pro League

Club Brugge
Image: In Belgium, Club Brugge could be declared champions

The Belgian Pro League season is over after the General Assembly voted to accept finalising the league table with each club having played 29 games.

Club Brugge have been crowned champions and will enter the group stage of the 2020/21 Champions League, while Gent finish second and go into Champions League qualifying and Sporting Charleroi, Royal Antwerp and Standard Liege go into the Europa League.

Portugal - Primeira Liga

Portugal's government says the country's top-flight football league, the Primeira Liga, will be allowed to resume on May 30.

Nacional and Farense have been promoted to Portugal's top-flight after it was decided the Segunda Division campaign would be ended. Piedada and Casa Pia have been relegated from the Segunda Division.

Denmark - Superliga

Denmark’s top-flight Superliga will recommence at the end of May
Image: Denmark’s top-flight Superliga will recommence at the end of May

Denmark's top-flight Superliga will resume on May 28. The Danish League Association has said it expects the campaign to conclude with the Europa League playoff game on July 29.

The league will restart with the final match of the 21st round of fixtures between third-placed AGF Aarhus and Randers, who are seventh. That match was postponed earlier in the season.

Champions League & Europa League

Van Dijk celebrates lifting the Champions League trophy after victory in the 2019 final against Tottenham
Image: When will UEFA's showpiece finals be played?

UEFA is considering proposals which would see the Champions League final being played three months later than scheduled at the end of August.

The Champions League final was due to take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on May 30 but under one of the new proposals, which UEFA will discuss next week, the final would be moved to Saturday, August 29 at the same venue.

The Europa League final which was due to be played in Gdansk on May 27 could now be played on Wednesday, August 26.

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