Premiership Rugby has announced that the 2019-20 season will now be suspended indefinitely due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It was hoped last month – when the season was originally postponed – that clubs would be able to return to action on 24 April.
However, with the spread of Covid-19 continuing, that has become impossible and Premiership Rugby has decided to push the supension of the season back with no end date this time.
The Premiership final has also been postponed from its original date on 20 June at Twickenham.
‘Following a series of constructive meetings with our clubs, investors, players’ representatives, commercial and broadcast partners, and the RFU, we have agreed on our approach to restart rugby as soon as it is safe to do so,’ Premiership chief executive Darren Childs said.
‘This is not an easy conversation. We are dealing with a catastrophic pandemic that is unprecedented in our lifetimes, the effects of which are heartbreaking and devastating. We also must recognise that when the pandemic is finally at an end, there will still be the economic challenge for many years to come. The markets and businesses that people rely upon are not immune to this virus.
‘Many livelihoods are built on professional sport and Premiership Rugby is proud to be home to many of the world’s greatest players. But the livelihoods are not just those of talented players, there are many vital roles across the clubs: from academy teams to medics, canteen staff to groundspeople. So, I’m proud of how our clubs, staff and players have pulled together to make swift and dignified decisions to preserve the sustainability of their independent businesses in order to sustain the challenges ahead.
‘Premiership Rugby represents the global, in that we are privileged to have players who are successful on the world stage; and Premiership Rugby represents the local. We bring together incredible, independent regional businesses with a common set of values.
‘The people in these businesses should know that we are creatively working with government and medical professionals to come back promptly, as soon as we know that it is safe to do so.
‘Therefore, we all remain committed to finding a way to play, so long as we can do this safely, and with the welfare of players, staff and fans at the heart of every decision.’
Premiership Rugby added that it is in conversation with the English RFU to reschedule the final until later this year, with a minimum of 2,500 new tickets to be donated to NHS and essential workers.
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