Premier League teams have considered making matches shorter than 90 minutes

There have been a lot of radical changes proposed as the Premier League looks to make a comeback and get the current season finished.

Teams have considered playing the games on neutral venues to avoid fans forcing their way into games, they have also considered using more substitutes as they desperately look for ways to get Premier League teams back playing again.

However, PFA Chief Gordon Taylor has revealed that there are even more radical changes that have been discussed as he claims that Premier League teams have also considered playing matches in less than 45 minutes halves.

The Premier League still has over 90 games to play before this season is complete and playing on neutral grounds could see more than one match per day, so it makes sense that teams want the time to be shortened.

Asked about scrapping the current season on BBC Radio 4 via Mail Sports, Taylor said: ‘We’ll have to wait and see. I’m talking about protocol that’s coming out, I’m talking about the future. 

‘We don’t know the future, what we do know is what propositions have been put forward and ideas. More subs, games possibly not being full 45 minutes each way, neutral stadiums, there’s lots of things put forward.

‘We’re trying to wait to see what the proposals are and have the courtesy to let the managers and coaches and players assimilate all those and come to a considered view.’ 

Arsenal is already getting prepared for the restart of the season after they became the first Premier League team to allow their players to return to their training ground in smaller groups.

Tags Premier League


  1. Declan says:

    How about 5 a side with 10 minutes each way?
    Asking for a friend😜
    (Hi AdMart, hope you and yours are well)

    1. Admin Martin says:

      All good, hope you and your family are safe Declan

      1. Declan says:

        Thanks mate all good so far x

  2. Reggie says:

    They could play with just the goalkeepers, then you could self distance and wont need a linesman. The ref can keep his distance and there will be no contact.

  3. jon fox says:

    Why not use dice! Or Rock/paper/scissors! Or any other absurd pointless change like shortening games, ” so it makes sense that teams want the timeto be shortened”, as Martin absurdly argues! In fact dice and R/P/S are infinitely safer than an 80 minute game as both could be played with social distancing. Perhaps with red noses and party hats and clown shoes!
    After all, ANYTHING proposed by that underpaid, intellectual and moral giant, Gordon Taylor is bound to have sense! Or just possibly, NOT!!!!

    1. Admin Martin says:

      Who would you choose from the Arsenal squad to play rock paper scissors Jon? I reckon Maitland Niles would be a good choice, he is unlikely to play any actual football and so would have the most time to practice trickery with his wrist to disorientate the opponent. Not sure about dice, I reckon Man City would turn up with loaded ones.

  4. ken1945 says:

    This is becoming farcical now – playing in Australia…more substitutes….less time per games….players saying they will not play if the risk is still there…this isn’t football is it?

    How on earth the game of football sees itself as so important, it is willing to risk more lives is ridiculous.

    Just call the season null and void, treat it as it did in wartime Britain, a casualty not worth worrying about until “the enemy” is defeated.

    Why our government doesn’t step in and make it’s decisions for our pathetic fa, I just don’t understand, especially as our PM knows just how serious this virus is!!!

    1. Sue says:

      👍 Well said, Ken. Bloody hell, I wonder what they’ll come up with next! I’m beginning to find it all really tiresome..
      There are more important things going on right now.. much more important than a game of bloody football.
      As you know, I love my football just as much as the next guy, but come on!!! Lives are at risk!

      1. Admin Martin says:

        This is a football site Sue and that is why you are here, to discuss football and I am not sure there has ever been a bigger subject in the history of football than its very survival. There are indeed much more important things than football but if we do not discuss football and Arsenal on here then I am not sure what is the point of the comments section.

        1. Sue says:

          Yes, I’m aware of that, Martin..and I think every aspect of what’s happening right now has been covered on here. So, yes there will always be something to discuss (& copy and paste!)
          I can’t help if I find things tiresome, with regards to the FA/PL’s ideas etc.. maybe it could be down to what I see every day, so for me, football has taken a back seat. Maybe I’d feel differently if my job was directly involved in it.

          1. Admin Martin says:

            I understand, I was not criticising you Sue.

    2. Admin Martin says:

      The Government did step in today and made it clear it wants to see football returned as soon as possible. Any comparison to the second war is not sensible, 50 million people died in that war, there was over 440000 UK casualties. This pandemic does discriminate in that it generally leaves children alone and is mainly dangerous for the aged and sick, the second world war was indiscriminate. There simply is no comparison. Football does not see itself as so important, listen to the airlines, horse racing, cricket, rugby, pubs etc complaining about the need to reopen, in fact, some of them are far more vocal than football. Also in the second world war, sport did go on throughout the world, not in Europe and large swathes of Asia but certainly in the USA, South America and so forth. It is very serious right now I agree but it is no where near what it was like in world war two and the numbers dead from the effects of a continued lockdown could easily be far more than if the lockdown was lifted as soon as is feasible. There is hyperbole on all sides, for example, the NHS is urging people to attend hospital with ailments because there has been such a drop in numbers prior to the lockdown and that is very worrying, ambulances are not used for emergencies in this pandemic to any large number and because of the drop in usual patient numbers there are actually ambulances on standby, they can easily attend football games. It is so easy to be outraged without looking at what is really happening, the peak has passed, the nightingale hospital has been stood down and Italy and Spain are prepari8ng for football returning and society returning to normal. No one is saying play football while it is dangerous but life must go on and we have to adapt to the new normal and that is all football is trying to do.

      1. ken1945 says:

        I didn’t compare it with the second world war Martin, that would be an insult to the men and women who gave their lives.

        I said that they should declare football null and void, while fighting the enemy…. as they did in both the first and second world wars.
        A totally different viewpoint to that which you have interpreted.

        There has now been a “super corona virus” identified, according to sky news and it is claimed that those who have recovered from the initial virus are not safe either.

        As for saying no one is saying don’t play any football till it is safe to do so….that is EXACTLY what is being proposed.

        If not, why would they want to play behind closed doors, why in another country not as affected as ours – which by the way, has now passed Italy with recorded deaths.

        With your large family Martin and if you were a professional footballer, were you asked to put them at risk in order to complete a money orientated fixture list, would you do it?

        1. Admin Martin says:

          I have to say it is a struggle to debate with you sometimes Ken because of how you word things, I am not the only one on here that struggles and I do notice that after you make a statement it then quickly goes off-topic and the debate then descends into what was said, what was meant etc. That is not a criticism at all but an observation. Sky News reports daily that vaccines and treatments could be with us in September, by Christmas etc, There is so much news flying around that it is hard to get your head around it so I prefer to stick with the people in authority and I heard what Dominic Raab said today and he was fairly confident that football would return after being asked a question by Andy Dunn. Safety is a balancing act, so far, despite the huge numbers, despite players breaking quarantine and lockdown, despite players being tested, not a single one has died. Germany has had ten tested positive this week and they are ploughing on, Italy and Spain have said they will be returning, why? Because they believe they will be at a level that safety is at an acceptable level. I make this prediction, more players will die from car accidents this year than coronavirus. It is not the players that is the issue but the others that have to work with them, generally, older less fit people like the physios, stewards, club doctors and so on. You also cannot ignore the financial component no matter how distasteful that may be for the simple reason that clubs will go bankrupt, big clubs, if this lockdown continues for too long and the knock-on effect of that is simply too big to just ignore. It is an emotional subject for sure but cold hard reality will have to kick in at some point, society simply cannot survive an indefinite lockdown. Yes, I have a big family and that family needs to be fed, clothed, kept warm and you do what you must, professional footballers at the top level simply do not have to worry about that. For example, Mesut Ozil earns in one week what the average yearly wage in the UK is over eight years. A fairer comparison would be the cleaner at the Emirates, the cashiers at the Armoury and so on, the very same people that players appeared non too keen to help out. I have one son and two son-in-laws on the frontline in one capacity or another, that is directly affecting my family but they have no choice but to work, I have not yet seen my grandson, well, not held or touched him since he was born, trust me, my family is making sacrifices on a huge level. I have had three members to date including a 70 member all contract the virus and survive it, a daughter being shielded, another daughter who has seen her exam dreams smashed, a son that is going insane because his University start date has been delayed and he has just been informed that he will have to wait another year now and another daughter that has to put off her midwife course for another year and despite all that my friend I am still of the opinion that as soon as safety is at an acceptable level that sport and every other sector in society should resume normal business because the truth is Ken, I fear more for my family and their futures if this lockdown continues for too much longer because I am seeing the damage it is doing already.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Yet Sue was able to grasp exactly what I was saying Martin and agreed with me, so why you found it so difficult to understand I haven’t a clue – my wording was perfectly clear.

            II am very sorry to hear about your daughter (this virus has no chosen victims, either in a direct or indirect way) along with all your other family troubles of course.

            As with SueP, my partner is really struggling, having type one diabetes, a deficiency in her blood that needs regular injections and which have now been stopped due to the virus.
            She has been in lock down for over eight weeks to date and sees no reason to think it will not be another eight weeks before she feels it safe enough to venture out.

            I could go further into my family’s problems, including a shut down of a very profitable fencing company, but it is what it is and football is way behind what the average family is having to cope with.

            Last time I looked, the premier league supports 100,000 direct jobs and they could afford to secure the salary of these people, as it contributes £7.6 billion to the UK GDP, so money is not a problem.
            They could commit to the end of the season and safeguard these jobs.

            What I find deplorable, is that the reason they are pushing for a resumption of the season, is purely down to money and the hold companies like sky, bt and bbc have over them.

            France, Holland and Belgium have taken decisive action, while we aare trying every angle possible to get the remaining games played and to say that this won’t happen without certainty regarding the virus being controlled, is an absolute smokescreen, because we haven’t found a way to control it, even with social distancing, lockdowns etc etc

            FIFA, footballs governing body has $1.52 billion in cash reserves and in 2018, generated more than $4.6 billion in revenue so there is no need for the footballing world to take any chances with it’s players etc.
            They could cover all costs involved regarding media contracts in every league under it’s umbrella.
            What FIFA should be doing, is to direct each league as to it’s ruling regarding how the season is ended and then sort out the media afterwards.

            I fully understand your point regarding firing up the economy as soon as possible, but as Sue rightly points out, we are still dealing with daily deaths and more confirmed cases, even without the news of a new supervirus being announced.

            Opening up the economy is a vital aim, but football should be way down on the list of priorities of essential businesses and diverting tests and personnel to attend matches is a waste of resources in my opinion.

            Take care and keep well to you and everyone else in the world.

          2. Admin Martin says:

            That’s the thing Ken, Holland, Belgium and France are outliers. South Korea returns to action this Friday, Germany got the go-ahead today and every other league in Europe is gearing up for a return to action. Holland is looking to reverse their decision, Belgium had a single game left and so really does not apply and France was forced into cancelling by their Governments decision, the football authorities wanted to return. As for your other figures, they are simply wrong my friend or do not tell the whole picture. As an example, you say 100,000 employed directly, that may well be true but what about indirectly, I would guess that is ten times the amount and football is not just the Premier League. Only four Premier League teams have cash reserves, the other 16 are losing money hand over fist. Fifa’s money is significant but once it is spread around the entire football world it would make very little impact. You ask why should Football be anywhere near the top of the list, no one is saying that but why should pubs be higher, it’s alcohol at the end of the day, same with restaurants, hairdressers, the list is endless, they have no more right to return than football. They all have a function, they all provide jobs and pay taxes, none is more important than the other. As for safety, no one is saying that safety should be compromised but if a balancing act is not found then forget football, it will die, there is simply not enough money to save the game long term. We all have to adapt to the new normal and it is less risky for footballers being tested twice a week under strict control than it is for a bus driver, a policeman, a factory worker, they will not get anywhere near the safety measures that footballers will get. Football has become an easy target for people to get all emotional and vent their anger but it is not justified, they are doing no less than any other industry and why should they not. Football is entitled to do what Airlines, building trade, car rental companies, hoteliers and every other non-essential sector is doing. I would fear far more for a barmaid serving alcohol to a bunch of drunks than I would for footballers that are getting exceptional treatment compared to the rest of society. Sport should be the spearhead not the other way around and I simply do not understand why football has become the target it has when no one is up in arms about every other sector that has less safety, pays less tax, provides less entertainment and drains society far more. I do not want football back until such a time that it is safe to do under the current circumstances but neither do I want any other non-essential business put before it.

          3. ken1945 says:

            Martin, perhaps football has become the No.1 target because of the remarks made by a certain politician?

            Thar was followed up by the media having headlines that were echoed on sites such as this, lambasting players and clubs, while conveniently forgetting the input owners, clubs and players were doing off their own backs.

            You are quite right about the no direct personnel not employed by the FA, but that argument goes with everyother industry doesn’t it?

            I guess your views echo those of Trump (no comparision intended as people by the way) and it remains to be seen how the US rides out the early re-opening of it’s economy, without a full safeguard against the virus – I hope you and him are correct in your approach…let’s wait and see.

          4. Admin Martin says:

            No Ken, my views are nothing like Trump, he is an idiot and danger to his own people, I have made it clear I follow the Governments advice and when they say it is safe enough then I support that, if they say it is not I support that, I have never said any differently in any of my comments or posts.

            It had nothing to do with Matt Hancock’s comments, he was simply responding to a question from journalists about the players refusing to give up their money to help their respective clubs, a view I wholeheartedly agree with, I still find the players, most of them, an utter disgrace, however, I take my hat off to the Arsenal players for agreeing on a pay cut, well, the ones with a moral compass anyway.

            Owners are also a disgrace, the rich ones certainly and I hold them in contempt as well but that does not let the players off the hook one little bit.

  5. stevo says:

    The truth is that there is no pandemic. The only people who have died are those with preexisting conditions people who would have died any way. Young healthy people are not dying.
    Besides the Government did not and still has not locked down the country. Millions of people have been allowed out to work the shops and exercise every day. The number of deaths is no more than the average flu season.
    What ever happens the season must be completed.
    I favour finishing any time between now and Xmas.
    Then start the next season in February and have two calendar year seasons which will tie in perfectly with the Qatar 2022 world cup.
    Liverpool will be crowned Champions what ever happens.

    1. Sue says:

      Another ‘copy and paste’ comment!

    2. Admin Martin says:

      OK Stevo you have said your bit on this and I have allowed it to pass but I now ask you to desist. The WHO has declared it a pandemic and that is official whether you accept it or not. Additionally, your figures with regards to the flu are actually false and a simple verification via a search will confirm this, for example in 2019 there were 10000 influenza deaths in England and Wales for the whole of 2019. There are now close to 30000 Covid 19 deaths in the UK in just three months. What you are doing is disseminating false and misleading information which is no longer acceptable on the likes of Facebook, Youtube etc. There are enough denial and conspiracy sites for you to share your views, JustArsenal is not such a site. Feel free to give your opinion on whether the season should restart and any other subject but no longer propagate false information. Thank you.

    3. Declan says:

      @stevo, your opening paragraph is absolutely false information.
      It IS a pandemic.
      It is NOT only people with preexisting conditions who have died, check the facts. Everyone will eventually die yes but these people are dying before their time!
      Young healthy people ARE dying, again check the facts, AND whilst young healthy people may not be as susceptible to the disease, they ARE getting it and passing it on to others.

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