Football off-season: Eight days without games – is it the shortest ever?

From no football for 100 days to matches almost every day for over a year.

The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc with the sporting calendar and meant there was no domestic action for three months.

But one consequence of the game’s suspension is that the gap between seasons, which can leave fans starved of any competitive action for two or three months, will be dramatically shorter and packed with other matches to follow.

There are likely to be seven weeks between the end of this Premier League season and the start of the next one – but there will be only eight days in that time without games in eight selected tournaments.

How, you ask? Let us explain…

The Premier League ends on 26 July, with the four Championship play-off semi-final matches being played later that week.

The FA Cup final is on 1 August, the same day the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership season begins.

The Serie A season ends the following day, with the Championship play-off final on 4 August.

On 5 August the Europa League last-16 ties resume – with Manchester United and Wolves playing in successive days.

Then Manchester City and Chelsea play their Champions League last-16 second legs on the following two days.

There will only be three days – none in a row – without a European game until the Champions League final on 23 August.

Then comes the big wait, with the Nations League not starting for another 11 days.

However, in those 11 days the Scottish Premiership continues, the Community Shield could be played (30 August is a reported date for that), the Women’s Champions League semi-finals and final take place and France’s Ligue 1 starts (22 August).

Only eight of the 48 days in question do not have either Championship play-offs, Champions League or Europa League games (including qualifiers featuring British teams), the Scottish Premiership, Italian or French football, the Nations League or the Women’s Champions League.

And six of those eight are either side of the international break – as there would be during any normal season.

Even those eight days do have football in some of Europe’s smaller leagues like Belgium, the Republic of Ireland and the Nordic countries.

England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland play two games each in the Nations League between 3 and 8 September.

Four days later – on 12 September – the Premier League is reportedly due to start and then there will be near continuous football for more than a year.

The 2021 Champions League final in Istanbul is on 29 May, with Euro 2020 starting 13 days later.

Selected games on every day between the two Premier League seasons

The 2019-20 Premier League season ends on 26 July, the 2020-21 campaign is expected to start on 12 September

27 July – Championship play-off semi-final first leg

28 July – Italian Serie A games

29 July – Championship play-off semi-final second leg, Serie A games

30 July – Championship play-off semi-final second leg

31 July – French League Cup final

1 August – FA Cup final, Scottish Premiership opening day

2 August – Scottish Premiership games, Serie A final day

3 August – Scottish Premiership game

4 August – Championship play-off final

5 August – Europa League last-16 ties

6 August – Europa League last-16 ties

7 August – Champions League last-16 ties

8 August – Champions League last-16 ties, Scottish Premiership games, Champions League preliminary round (including Northern Irish team)

9 August – Scottish Premiership games

10 August – Europa League quarter-finals

11 August – Europa League quarter-finals, Scottish Premiership game, Champions League preliminary round (including Northern Irish team)

12 August – Champions League quarter-final, Scottish Premiership games

13 August – Champions League quarter-final

14 August – Champions League quarter-final

15 August – Champions League quarter-final, Scottish Premiership games

16 August – Europa League semi-final, Scottish Premiership game

17 August – Europa League semi-final

18 August – Champions League semi-final, Champions League first qualifying round (including Scottish and Welsh team)

19 August – Champions League semi-final, Champions League first qualifying round (including Scottish and Welsh team)

20 August – Europa League preliminary round (including Welsh and Northern Irish teams)

21 August – Europa League final, Women’s Champions League quarter-finals

22 August – Scottish Premiership games, Women’s Champions League quarter-finals, French Ligue 1 opening day

23 August – Champions League final, Scottish Premiership game, Ligue 1 games

24 August –

25 August – Women’s Champions League semi-final

26 August – Women’s Champions League semi-final

27 August – Europa League first qualifying round (including Scottish and Welsh teams)

28 August –

29 August – Scottish Premiership games, Women’s Champions League final, Ligue 1 games

30 August – Community Shield (possibly, date not confirmed), Ligue 1 games

31 August, 1, 2 September –

3 September – Nations League games

4 September – Nations League games

5 September – Nations League games

6 September – Nations League games

7 September – Nations League games

8 September – Nations League games

9, 10, 11 September –

There are actually football matches on each of the eight days without games highlighted in other smaller leagues

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