Premier League restart moves to April 30

Football in England will remain locked-out until April 30 at the earliest

English soccer authorities reached an unprecedented agreement to extend the season "indefinitely" on Thursday, in a bid to complete the EPL and all other competitions.

As well as announcing the professional game in England will remain suspended until at least April 30 because of the coronavirus, the Football Association and the Premier League said they were waiving a regulation dictating the domestic season has to finish by June 1.

"We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season," read a statement by the organisations which run English soccer, "and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so."

The commitment boosted the likelihood of Liverpool winning their first league title in 30 years.

The Reds lead the Premier League by 25 points and needed only two more wins from their last nine games to clinch the title before the virus outbreak caused the suspension of all soccer in the country.

FA chairman Greg Clarke previously said it might be impossible to finish the season while the vice-chair of relegation-haunted Premier League club West Ham, Karren Brady, called for the league to be declared null and void.

But no discussion was held about declaring the season null and void and Brady clarified those remarks in a Twitter post, saying runaway league leaders Liverpool deserved to win the title and the Premier League was doing all it could to get the season finished.

English soccer was initially suspended until April 4 last Friday, although that period always seemed likely to be extended - especially after the British government this week advised against mass gatherings amid the virus outbreak.

UEFA's decision on Tuesday to postpone the European Championship and push the tournament back to 2021 opened up space for domestic leagues like the Premier League to be extended.

An added complication for soccer in general is the fact that many employment agreements between players and clubs, sponsorship contracts and broadcasting agreements expire on June 30.

There was no mention of the possibility of playing games in empty stadiums to speed up the completion of the season and potentially satisfy broadcast partners.

That prospect was raised, though, but Manchester United said on Thursday they will pay all their matchday and non-matchday casual workers, should Premier League games be cancelled or played behind closed doors for the remainder of the season.

The Scottish Football Association also confirmed all football in the country will not resume until April 30 at the earliest.