Great Britain

Premier League return on 17 June CONFIRMED with Man City v Arsenal first, all 92 games on TV and FREE BBC matches

MILLIONS of football fans were tonight celebrating the return of the Premier League on June 17.

All 92 matches will be live on TV, with a third of them totally free.

They kick off with Man City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield Utd — followed by a full weekend of top-flight fixtures.

Jubilant England skipper Harry Kane said: “Football is back soon!”

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker tweeted: “It’s coming back, it’s coming back, it’s coming . . . football’s coming back.”

The season will finish by August 2 if there is no new virus spike.

All matches will be played behind closed doors with stars and staff tested regularly.

The 92 remaining games will be live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime — with 29 matches free to air.

Prem's new kick-off times

Two could be aired in one night, at 6pm and 8pm. Others could be shown at 3pm on Saturdays.

Clubs agreed to the Wednesday June 17 return providing all safety requirements are met.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters confirmed earlier reports by saying: “Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17 June.

"But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority.

‘’Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches.

“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home.

“We will continue to work step-by-step and in consultation with all our stakeholders as we move towards resuming the 2019/20 season.”

There will be four matches on Sundays too, at 12pm, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm.

In order to fit in all games on TV, new kick-off times will be introduced.

Friday and Monday games will be at 8pm, while Saturday will have FOUR matches starting at 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm.

Midweek games, played on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays, will have 6pm and 8pm starts, allowing fans to watch footie all evening.

'HISTORIC MOMENT'

It will be the first time since the Premier League's inception in 1992 that top-flight games will be shown by the BBC.

Director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater said“This opportunity creates an historic moment for the BBC and our audiences.

"At a time when sports fans across the country are in need of lift, this is very welcome news.

"We are delighted and excited to have the chance to show live Premier League games on the BBC.

"This will offer audiences, who haven't had the opportunity in the past, live , free to air access to the best football league in the world, as the BBC continues to keep the country entertained during these unprecedented times.”

The rest of the matches will be shown by Sky Sports, BT Sport and Amazon Prime.

BT Sport have announced they will be showing 20 games while Amazon will show four.

That means 64 games on Sky, with 25 of those free-to-air, including Everton vs Liverpool on the first weekend back.

As well as Man City vs Arsenal, Aston Villa will take on Sheffield United on Wednesday 17 June.

Once those two matches in hand have been played, all 20 teams will be equal on having played 29 games.

The announcement comes after Sky Sports gave fans hope by announcing they could end their freezing period on June 19.

Customers were able to pause their subscription when the league was suspended due to the global pandemic.

But with football finally on the horizon, fans will be able to tune in to watch their team in action.

SunSport also revealed that Amazon are in talks with the top-flight to land more matches including the Saturday 3pm kick-offs.

There has been no confirmation of where the games will be played, with reports suggesting "key matches" such as Liverpool home games and major London derbies could be played at neutral venues to avoid fans gathering at the stadiums.

The PM also lifted more lockdown rules today after deciding his five key tests had been met.

From Monday, people in England can meet in groups of six in parks or private gardens, provided they stay outside and two metres apart.

Mr Johnson said: “These changes mean that friends and family can start to meet loved ones, perhaps seeing both parents or both grandparents at once.

“For many I know this will be a long-awaited and joyful moment.”

A spike in cases could lead to local lockdowns.

Mr Johnson pledged to draw a line under the Dominic Cummings crisis after Durham Police said no action would be taken for a “minor” breach of lockdown rules.

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