The U.K. government has granted permission to Newcastle United and the Premier League to return to play on June 1st.
In a major step for Newcastle United and English soccer in the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.K. government has given the Premier League the go ahead for a June 1st return.
As expected, the matches would be taking place behind closed-doors with only necessary personnel present. As we’ve highlighted before, purely from a sports standpoint, Newcastle will suffer from their passionate, well-traveling fan base not being in the stands. But, the health of people across the world is much more important than having the right to turn up at the ground.
Next up, the Premier League clubs will need to decide if they want to complete the remainder of the season. Per ESPN, a majority of 14 votes from the 20 clubs will be needed to move forward with any decision.
The scheduling of the remainder of the matches and the impact that will have on the summer transfer window and following season will be the next challenge for the league.
When the matches were postponed, Newcastle United was set to face Sheffield United at St. James’ Park. There is no reason to think that won’t be the next match they play. June 1st falls on a Monday, so the match could take place mid-week or on Saturday, June 6th, potentially. The 7th-place Blades are one of the clubs with the most to lose if this season is cancelled, as they are a surprising candidate to qualify for European competition.
There will definitely be a lot of discussion over the next few weeks and changes can be expected across the English soccer landscape. But, the latest decision by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is a huge leap towards the Magpies getting back onto the pitch.