Project Restart

The Bundesliga is back - but how far behind are Europe's other major leagues?

Germany have successfully relaunched - but how are the other leagues positioned...

 
12:00pm on Wednesday 27th May 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

This past weekend, football returned.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both claimed important victories in the race to be crowned Bundesliga champions.

Now, when will other teams from around Europe get the opportunity to complete their respective leagues? Some won't, some will, but they will all be behind closed doors. Let's take a look at the current state of play.

BUNDESLIGA - BACK UNDERWAY

On 16 May, the German Bundesliga returned as football fans rejoiced at finally having some elite, competitive action back on their screens to enjoy during lockdown.

Even though it was surreal, with no fans, no group celebrations, and substitutes socially distancing, it was a success. Football without fans is nothing, but for now, in Germany, it will have to do.

PREMIER LEAGUE - PROPOSED 19 JUNE

The money-making machine that is the Premier League was always likely to return at some point, with TV coverage and sponsorships being major factors in the decision whether to resume or not.

'Project Restart' is the initiative that has been coined by the teams involved, as they look to complete the 2019/20 campaign as safely and as quickly as possible, while bowing to the demands of the broadcasters who have pumped hundreds of millions of pounds into the economy of the league.

According to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters, broadcasters such as Sky Sports and BT Sports would be due back upwards of £1 billion should the competition be completely voided.

A few top-flight clubs are already back in training, albeit whilst adhering to social distancing regulations. Liverpool are currently in pole position to claim the championship and actually only require two more victories to do so, but the race for Europe and to avoid relegation remains tight.

LIGUE 1 - CANCELLED, PSG ARE CHAMPIONS

PSG are Ligue 1 champions after the competition was officially cancelled, with Marseille and Rennes awarded the remaining Champions League positions and Amiens and Toulouse relegated.

The final positions were determined by calculating the average points gained from the games played up until that point. PSG earned 2.52 which was some distance ahead of their nearest title challengers, Marseille, who recorded 2.0 points per game.

SERIE A - PROPOSED 13 JUNE RETURN

The Italian top flight was the first major league to start cancelling, postponing, or scattering Serie A fixtures due to the pandemic, with fractured rounds of matches taking place for a few weeks before the competition was indefinitely shut down.

On 18 May players were given the green light to return to group training by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

That came after the clubs voted to return to league duties on 13 June. However, Conte insists that this date will remain only if the safety of the players, officials, and staff can be guaranteed up until that weekend and beyond.

Even though Juventus lead the standings we are being treated to the closest Scudetto battle in years, with Lazio just a point behind in second and Inter nine points adrift but with a game in hand.

LA LIGA - PROPOSED 12 JUNE RETURN

Apart from the UK Spain has had more confirmed cases of Covid-19 than any other country in Europe.

Yet, they remain poised to return to action behind closed doors on 12 June. On 18 May players returned to group training (of groups no larger than 10) in preparation for the proposed return date.

The decision was made for the resumption of training after the relatively low number of five players tested positive for the coronavirus from every team in the top two divisions. Although social distancing measures will continue in training and in official fixtures, it would appear they are prepared for the return of the Spanish Primera Division.

OTHER MAJOR COMPETITIONS

- Dutch Eredivisie - Abandoned, Ajax are champions

- Belgian Jupiler League - Abandoned

- Scottish Premiership - Celtic named champions

- Portuguese Primeira Liga - Set to resume on 4 June

- Russian Premier League - Set to resume on 21 June

- Austrian Bundesliga - Set to resume on 2 June

- Turkish Super Lig - Set to resume on 12 June

- Danish Superliga - Set to resume on 28 May

- Swedish Allsvenskan - Set to resume on 14 June

- Norwegian Eliteserien - Set to resume on 16 June

- Swiss Super League - Set to resume on 8 June

- Championship - Set to resume on 20 June

- English League 1 - Set to resume on 20 June

- English League 2 - Set to be abandoned

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