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Premier League 2020/21 season - start date, transfer window info, new handball rule and more

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The 2019/20 Premier League season is now done and dusted and focus has quickly turned to next season with just a six-week gap between the end of the last season and the start of the new one.

Clubs up and down the top-flight have already begun planning for next season with new signings, new kits and everything that comes with a fresh season.

Of course, things will still look a little different with the start of the new campaign delayed due to the break in the last one, but soon football will be all caught up with next term set to finish in its usual conclusion month of May.

Ahead of the upcoming season, we have rounded up all the key details and dates.

The start date

The new season will start on September 12.

The campaign was originally set to kick off on August 8, but because the season 2019/20 finished around two months late due to the coronavirus pandemic, the date was pushed back.

The new date is only just over six weeks from the final day of the 2019/20 campaign.

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The end date

The 2020/21 campaign is set to conclude on May 23, 2021.

That’s a date fans will be far more accustomed to, rather than the July finale we saw this season.

Next season will have a much stricter finish with Euro 2021 - which has already been pushed back a year - set to kick off in June.

The new boys

The new season will, as ever, bring three new clubs into the equation.

Replacing the relegated Norwich City, Watford and AFC Bournemouth are Championship champions Leeds United, runners’ up West Brom and one of Brentford or Fulham, who meet in the play-off final on Tuesday, August 4.

What’s new?

As far as rules go, it’s very much a work in progress.

Discussions are yet to be held over the use of five substitutes, which will be allowed around the world next season - it’s just down to the leagues whether it will be used.

The Premier League will hold discussions with clubs over the issue, but it will only do so once all of next season’s 20 clubs are confirmed.

The cooling breaks are no more, and there is a new handball rule which allows the ball to hit the very top of the arm as part of a new t-shirt guideline.

VAR is also expected to change in some form. PGMOL chief Mike Riley has submitted a VAR review to clubs and any changes will be made in the coming weeks when teams club chiefs meet.

Rules aside, we will, of course, see a new Premier League ball, which has already been released.

The new ‘flight’ Nike ball is predominantly white with a red and black design.

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The transfer window

The transfer window opened on July 27 and it will run until October 5 with one caveat.

The window will remain open until October 16 but from October 5, Premier League clubs can only deal with EFL clubs.

No deals with fellow Premier League clubs or clubs abroad will be allowed during that 11-day domestic window.

How about fans?

Fans will still be locked out until at least October 1, but the government have said they hope to see some test events with fans some time in August.

That provides some hope that after the start of October, supporters could be allowed into grounds with social-distancing regulations in place.

Reports suggests that if fans were to return, stadiums would only be allowed to be at a 30%-50% capacity but with the situation ever-evolving, this will be one to keep an eye on.

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