MARTIN Semmens, Saints' chief executive, hopes the league will be completed by the end of June in a bid to avoid any legal challenges.

Players up and down the country will be out of contract on June 30 and would have to sign new deals if the season was to stretch beyond that date and they wanted to play.

Professional football’s been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic until at least April 30, with most top-flight teams having nine games remaining.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, Semmens said: "We hope to get the league done by the end of June. As soon as you go past that date, there are legal challenges.

"If we ended up playing until 15 July and you had to extend a player's contract by two weeks, convincing a player to play two more weeks of football and get paid nicely to do it - I don't believe that will be a substantial challenge.

"The challenge is making sure we don't have a knock-on effect to other seasons and make football compromised for years to come."

Because the situation regarding coronavirus worsens every day, it’s tough to know whether Premier League football will return at the end of next month.

However, it could be the case that games are played behind closed doors which would help finish the season and protect the supporters at the same time.

Semmens believes that football will be back on the small screen once it’s deemed safe and when clubs are no longer relying on the emergency services’ crucial resources.

He added: "We have to do what is right and safe for the general public.

"When everybody is safe and we're not using up NHS and police resources, the government would like us to get back to playing because we are entertainment and a sign that the country is coming back to normal.

"If people are home for another month and Premier League football is on the TV every day that can only be a good thing.

“Not because we are more essential than the NHS but because we can give people entertainment and show that we're fighting back."