Arsenal’s trip to Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday will be played. The Premier League has decided to resume matches this weekend after pausing “as a mark of respect” for Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. 7 of the 10 scheduled matches will take place, with Chelsea vs. Liverpool, Manchester United vs. Leeds United, and Brighton vs. Crystal Palace (which had already been delayed because of a rail strike) postponed.
The Arsenal kickoff will move to 12 pm British time (7 am ET, 4 am PT) for television purposes.
In a puzzling turn of events, Chelsea’s Wednesday night Champions League fixture against RB Salzburg will take place. Arsenal’s Thursday night Europa League match against PSV Eindhoven, however, was (and remains) postponed. The best explanation I can offer is that Her Majesty will begin lying in state at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday evening and that they’re expecting more significant crowds to have developed, which divert police resources, by the time Thursday evening comes around.
It’s mind-boggling how poorly the Premier League, the FA, and the Metropolitan Police have handled postponements necessitated by the Queen’s passing. Operation London Bridge, the master plan for what would happen when she died, has been existence for decades. She was 96. It’s not like this came as a surprise. You’d think the Premier League would have had a plan in place as well. But it very much feels like they were caught unawares and had to make it up as they went.
They should have played the matches this past weekend. When the Premier League schedule released on June 16th, they should have had a plan in place for which matches would be postponed and which wouldn’t be based on when she died. Again, she was 96. It’s not difficult to project out an entire season worth of “what if’s” to avoid precisely the kind of haphazard decision-making that we’ve seen since her death.