Sport’s bonkers calendar: The key dates to look forward to once the big action returns – Daily Mail

The biggest challenge for sports fans once action does resume will be keeping track of it all.

No doubt it will be a wonderful time not least because it will signal the beginning of some sort of normality once more.

Plans are being put in place by the various sporting governing bodies over when their respective sports will return.

Here, Sportsmail looks at the plans for sport’s big return and how it will all fit into a new look sporting calendar. 

FOOTBALL

Arsenal, Brighton and West Ham returning to training on Monday, and Tottenham on Tuesday, if only in small numbers, gave reason for optimism.

Football is still some way from returning and has now been away since the middle of March when Britain went into lockdown.

UEFA have set the Premier League with a deadline of May 15 to provide them with a definitive plan as to how the English top flight is preparing to return.

Arsenal's Emiliano Martinez reports for training at London Colney on Monday morning

Arsenal's Emiliano Martinez reports for training at London Colney on Monday morning

Arsenal’s Emiliano Martinez reports for training at London Colney on Monday morning 

Plans to resume the season are expected to be stepped up further this week in what has been labelled ‘Project Restart’.

The Premier League is hopeful of a potential behind-closed-doors restart date of June 8 and there would be an expectation to finish the season at the end of July.

For this to happen it would require all clubs to be back in training by the middle of next month.

Matches will be played behind closed doors with the aim of playing the outstanding 92 games in an eight-week period, allowing a definitive conclusion to the season. The FA Cup will also make its return. 

Liverpool are just two wins away from wrapping up the Premier League – their 19th English top flight title – and they could win it before the end of June.

Aerial pictures taken on Monday showed the players training in isolation one pitch apart

Aerial pictures taken on Monday showed the players training in isolation one pitch apart

Aerial pictures taken on Monday showed the players training in isolation one pitch apart

Fast-forward to August and it will be a month like no other. Teams would have just a week to recover before pre-season training for the 2020-21 season begins.

This season’s Champions League and Europa League campaigns are set to resume in August with all remaining ties to be completed in a condensed 23-day period with the final being held in Istanbul on August 29.

The new domestic season could then return either at the end of August or in September.  

Premier League officials have drawn up plans to see the return of top-flight football in England

Premier League officials have drawn up plans to see the return of top-flight football in England

Premier League officials have drawn up plans to see the return of top-flight football in England 

For those who want football as soon as possible, the Bundesliga offers the best hope. 

Bundesliga chief Christian Seifert presented his plan last week for football to restart in Germany next month but conceded football’s fate was no longer in its hands.

Seifert’s masterplan ranges from regular testing to a allowing a maximum of 300 into stadiums. His plans are awaiting the approval of the Angela Merkel and the German government.

Champions League final will take place on August 29 - weeks before start of the new season

Champions League final will take place on August 29 - weeks before start of the new season

Champions League final will take place on August 29 – weeks before start of the new season

CRICKET 

The ECB announced earlier this month there will be no professional cricket played in England and Wales until at least July 1. 

The governing body wants to try and limit the financial cost of the coronavirus crisis. Any revised schedule will focus on fulfilling international fixtures and staging the Vitality T20 Blast, which is a big money-spinner for the sport.

The ECB met on Wednesday to discuss the future of the new The Hundred format, which Sportsmail revealed earlier this week is already set to lose £7million in its first five years. As of yet a verdict is yet to be revealed.

The ECB announced earlier this month there will be no professional cricket until at least July 1

The ECB announced earlier this month there will be no professional cricket until at least July 1

The ECB announced earlier this month there will be no professional cricket until at least July 1 

DATES FOR DIARY 

Premier League return: June 8 

Champions League final: August 29

No cricket action until July 1

Rugby Premiership target July return

F1 start at Austrian GP: July 3-5

US Open tennis: starts August 24

French Open: starts September 20

PGA Tour return: June 11

European Tour return: July 30

Ryder Cup: September 25-28

PGA Championship: August 6-9

US Open: September 17-20

Masters: November 12-15  

On Tuesday, David Warner said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that Australia would make the trip over this year to play England in what would have been the highlight of the summer action.

Australia were due to play three one-day internationals and three T20s against England from July 3.  

‘At the moment it’s highly unlikely we’re going to go over there given what’s happened in England,’ Warner said on Tuesday. ‘There’s a lot more to this than sport.

‘The biggest picture is making sure we’re doing all the right things we can to flatten the curve and doing what we can to play our bit in that.

‘We’ve done a great job so far and all Australians should be credited.’

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison remains hopeful that England’s Test series against West Indies and Pakistan in June, July and August will go ahead and will then consider moving white-ball cricket against Pakistan, Australia and Ireland until September.    

RUGBY

Sportsmail revealed on Monday that club bosses were working on a plan that would see the Premiership season finished with matches being played on every day of the week at one venue.

PRL chief executive Darren Childs wants rugby to be the first sport to return to action and wants to work with BT Sport to put on a TV spectacular, which would have all clubs playing twice a week throughout July. 

The key is for all remaining matches to be held at one ground such as Twickenham.

Twickenham has been suggested as a possible ground where all matches could be hosted

Twickenham has been suggested as a possible ground where all matches could be hosted

Twickenham has been suggested as a possible ground where all matches could be hosted 

Most clubs are hoping to return to training on June 1 with matches at the end of the month.

The Six Nations was one of the first events hit by coronavirus in late February. There have been discussions to hold a second Six Nations later in the year should southern hemisphere sides not want to fulfil fixtures in November. It would mean two Six Nations being held within the space of three months.

F1

F1 was shaping up to start as usual in Melbourne in March before coronavirus struck. Now the calendar has been completely torn up and F1 boss Chase Carey has had a lot to ponder.

Not least the actual start date of the season, which is now expected in early July. Carey wants the season structured around 16 races and to start in Europe.

The Austrian Grand Prix on July 3-5 has been earmarked as the start date and from there it gets a little complex. Although there has been no confirmation, there has been a suggestion of a second Austrian Grand Prix, which would take place on July 12. 

Silverstone is set to host two races in 2020 as F1 nears a return amid the coronavirus outbreak

Silverstone is set to host two races in 2020 as F1 nears a return amid the coronavirus outbreak

Silverstone is set to host two races in 2020 as F1 nears a return amid the coronavirus outbreak

Those two races would then be followed by two more meetings at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix on July 19 and August 2. All four races would be held without fans.

Only after those four races will F1’s executives reassess the situation. It is hoped that by the end of July restrictions will have been lifted to allow the calendar to continue onwards to Spain, Hungary and France. 

It does become a minefield after Europe, though. For example, when would the Canadian Grand Prix be staged? Any later than early October and Montreal would be an ice rink given how quickly winter sets in. 

Australia and Monaco are the only two countries of the original 22 whose races are definitely off. 

TENNIS 

Wimbledon didn’t wait long at all before cancelling this year’s tournament. We know for sure SW19 won’t be holding another tournament until next year, but the two other Grand Slam events of the year that are left to be played are expected to go ahead.

At present, the US Open is set to take place as usual at Flushing Meadows in New York on August 24 and will finish on September 13.

It will then be a very quick turnaround for the players who will contest the French Open in Paris a week later.

The US Open is set to take place as usual at Flushing Meadows at the end of August

The US Open is set to take place as usual at Flushing Meadows at the end of August

The US Open is set to take place as usual at Flushing Meadows at the end of August

The ATP’s flagship end-of-season Finals event, scheduled for the middle of November at the O2 Arena, is still expected to go ahead.

Indeed, away from the top 100 in the world, tennis is planned to resume in south west Germany at the start of next month. A series of matches between players ranked outside the world’s 100 will take part as a way to get the game back on the road but also to help those in the sport who don’t enjoy the riches that those in the top 10 do. 

GOLF 

The PGA Tour was bullish when it announced plans to resume play in Texas on June 11.

The current plan is to begin four events in a row without spectators to kickstart the season after the Masters was moved back to November. The tour will move to Lone Star state to South Carolina, then up north to Connecticut and then Detroit. 

The European Tour has remained cautious and has cancelled every event up until the British Masters at Close House in Newcastle, which is scheduled for July 30.

The Open, which was due to be held at Royal St George’s at Sandwich in July, has been moved to next summer.

The other two majors – PGA Championship and US Open – have been pencilled in to start on August 6 and September 17.

Rory McIlroy has voiced his disgust at the idea of the Ryder Cup being played without spectators. McIlroy has said he would rather the event would be put back to 2021 than ‘play at Whistling Straits without fans’.

Several players agree with McIlroy but, as it stands, the Ryder Cup, which Europe will be defending after defeating USA in Paris two years ago, down to start on September 25 in Wisconsin.

Rory McIlroy wants the Ryder Cup to be put back to 2021 if fans can't attend this year's event

Rory McIlroy wants the Ryder Cup to be put back to 2021 if fans can't attend this year's event

Rory McIlroy wants the Ryder Cup to be put back to 2021 if fans can’t attend this year’s event

WHAT ELSE WILL BE LEFT? 

London Marathon – October 4.

Tour de France – August 29 

Racing in Australia, Hong Kong and some parts of the US has continued and restarts have been pencilled in for Germany on May 1 and France on May 11. Royal Ascot is scheduled to take place without spectators and start on June 16.

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