Two of the weekend’s biggest Premier League’s matches have been called off because of policing issues related to the Queen’s funeral. Manchester United’s home game against Leeds and Liverpool’s visit to Chelsea will be played at a later date, along with Arsenal’s Europa League tie at home to PSV on Thursday.
However the other seven Premier League fixtures due to be played from Friday will go ahead, with Brighton v Crystal Palace having been postponed last week for unrelated reasons. The Guardian understands that the Football League is confident most of its weekend games will also be fulfilled after receiving assurances about policing levels at its matches.
In a statement the Premier League said it had no option but to postpone three fixtures after extensive consultations with clubs, police, local Safety Advisory Groups and other relevant authorities.
Two matches have also had their kick-off times moved, with Brentford v Arsenal on Sunday becoming a noon kick-off and Everton v West Ham switching to 2.15pm. With an international break starting after this weekend, Leeds are due to go from 3 September to 2 October without a match and Brighton and Palace face almost identical situations.
The midweek Champions League matches involving Liverpool, Manchester City, Spurs and Chelsea will take place. However Uefa said it had no option but to call off Arsenal v PSV due “to the severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues related to the ongoing events surrounding the national mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.
It is understood another factor in the decision was that the fixture was considered a higher-risk one because of the number of PSV fans due to travel, and their reputation.
No new dates were announced by the Premier League and a Uefa spokesman confirmed the Arsenal-PSV game had also yet to be rescheduled. However Arsenal are expecting either their Premier League game against Manchester City on 19 October or their Carabao Cup tie versus Brighton in early November will have to be moved to accommodate the fixture.
The EFL confirmed that its midweek fixture programme would return as scheduled on Tuesday, with tributes to be paid to the Queen. “A minute’s silence will be held before matches, with black armbands to be worn by participants, flags to be flown at half-mast and the national anthem to be played in stadiums,” it said.
The Football Association said on Monday that all football at all levels was now clear to return but all matches scheduled for next Monday would be postponed.