By: Ndianabasi Ikobong
Ahead of the upcoming season, here are some of the key details and dates.
*The end date
The 2020/21 campaign is set to conclude on May 23, 2021.
That’s a date fans will be far more accustomed to, rather than the July finale we saw this season.
Next season will have a much stricter finish with Euro 2021 – which has already been pushed back a year – set to kick off in June.
*The new boys
The new season will, as ever, bring three new clubs into the equation.
Replacing the relegated Norwich City, Watford and AFC Bournemouth are Championship champions Leeds United, runners’ up West Brom and one of Brentford or Fulham, who meet in the playoff final on August 4.
As far as rules go, it’s very much a work in progress.
Discussions are yet to be held over the use of five substitutes, which will be allowed around the world next season – it’s just down to the leagues whether it will be used.
The Premier League will hold discussions with clubs over the issue, but it will only do so once all of next season’s 20 clubs are confirmed.
The cooling breaks are no more, and there is a new handball rule which allows the ball to hit the very top of the arm as part of a new t-shirt guideline.
*Changes In VAR
VAR is also expected to change in some form. PGMOL chief Mike Riley has submitted a VAR review to clubs and any changes will be made in the coming weeks when teams club chiefs meet.
Rules aside, we will, of course, see a new Premier League ball, which has already been released.
The new ‘flight’ Nike ball is predominantly white with a red and black design.
*The transfer window
The transfer window opened on July 27 and it will run until October 5 with one caveat.
The window will remain open until October 16 but from October 5, Premier League clubs can only deal with EFL clubs.
No deals with fellow Premier League clubs or clubs abroad will be allowed during that 11-day domestic window.
*How about fans?
Fans will still be locked out until at least October 1, but the government have said they hope to see some test events with fans some time in August.
That provides some hope that after the start of October, supporters could be allowed into grounds with social-distancing regulations in place.
Reports suggests that if fans were to return, stadiums would only be allowed to be at a 30%-50% capacity but with the situation ever-evolving, this will be one to keep an eye on.