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Premier League BANS clubs using the phrase 'null and void' in relation to the 2019-20 season,



Premier League clubs have been warned not to use the phrase 'null and void' when discussing contingency plans for the rest of the season as fears grow the campaign will be scrapped.


Sportsmail can reveal instructions from Premier League HQ have gone out telling clubs to use the word 'curtailed' instead when discussing the worst-case scenario of a cancelled season.


This is because it will provide more legal protection against broadcasters seeking a rebate on the top flight's £3billion annual television deal.


With a quarter of the season to play, Sky Sports, BT Sport and overseas broadcasters will demand a partial refund if it is not finished, although compensation clauses in the contracts are not pro rata, so they are not necessarily entitled to a fixed percentage of their outlay.


Moreover, in the event of an abandoned season the Premier League would argue that the matter was taken out of their hands by force majeure and that they did not void the campaign, hence their instruction to clubs.


The official position remains that the Premier League are committed to completing the season, which they are expected to reaffirm in a conference call of all 20 clubs on Friday.


Yet dissenting voices are questioning privately whether this is feasible. In an indication of the desperation to finish the campaign, top-flight clubs have not received any directions about a further delay beyond April 30, unlike those in the EFL. 


As Sportsmail revealed on Friday, EFL clubs received a memo earlier this week informing them that another suspension was coming. A new potential resumption date is set to be announced next week.


There have been no formal talks about how to proceed if the Premier League season is not completed, but in discussions between club executives there is an acceptance that it would be impossible to implement promotion and relegation.


This would inevitably lead to compensation demands from EFL clubs and talks over the demands of promotion hopefuls have already begun.

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