A circular has been released which aims for the training to to resume from May onwards.
The Premier League have issued a timetable to the respective stakeholders which suggests that the clubs will be allowed to commence partial group training from May 11 and full training from May 18. It is clear that the higher-ups have the intention to finish the current league campaign, as opposed to announcing it null and void, which stands suspended at the moment due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Pending government approval, this timetable ambitiously aims to start the football programme from June 8, 2020 onwards, which most probably will see teams playing each other behind closed doors, in order to finish the season. The plans are understood to be presented to each club individually before being presented in the stakeholders meeting.
The UK government is reportedly contemplating easing the lockdown restrictions after May 7, which may allow the clubs to start their training regimes, albeit with keeping social distancing and many other precautions in mind.
The Premier League director of football, Richard Garlick has drafted the proposal and reportedly it will be discussed in a club meeting on Friday. The proposal outlines few measures that the club management must adhere to while resuming their training programmes.
Some of the precautions outlined include players having to cover their faces with masks in training, testing all players and officials 48 hours before returning to training, all the equipments in use must be disinfected, initially only five players per training group, no spitting at the training ground by players or members of staff, and more.
With the current seasons of the Dutch Eredivisie and French Ligue 1 already suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be interesting to see how this folds out, and whether restarting football amidst the current scenario will get the backing of fans and players alike.
A growing concern is that not all the players are in agreement to take risks during the time of a pandemic and play football, which may endanger themselves and their family’s health as well. Without medical reassurances that coronavirus symptoms will not cause respiratory damage going forward, it might become a point of conflict between the authorities and the players.