The government has “encouraged” the Premier League to move towards forming “more concrete proposals” for a return to action, according to the latest reports.
After almost seven weeks on from the suspension of the Premier League season, a framework for how the topflight can resume has been cleared by the government.
A meeting of all 20 clubs will take place on Friday where a timeline will be discussed and presented for football to make its return behind closed doors, as per The Mirror’s David Maddock.
Talks have been ongoing for weeks between the government and the Premier League, where “the Prime Minister’s office has offered real encouragement” that a resumption of the season “may be possible in June.”
The report outlines a five-point framework which is supported by Boris Johnson and Co. and is underpinned by widespread testing of players.
The framework includes: a phased return to training (individual programmes at the start of May), full contact squad training (possibly the final week of May), games to resume “as early as” the second week of June, comprehensive testing programme (paid by Premier League) and government cooperation on support services.
Like any other mooted plans and proposals, it must be stressed that all is dependent on the curve flattening in the UK.
Access to over 30,000 tests will be required as all personnel who attend games will be tested “up to three times a week” and it is said that the government will be ramping up testing for key workers over the coming weeks to reduce any suggestions that football is of a higher priority.
The details of where fixtures will be held still needs to be ironed out as clubs remain eager to finish their season in their own stadiums as opposed to neutral venues.
Initial training protocols, meanwhile, are said to include the need to wear face masks, pass an antigen test prior to group training and all equipment to be disinfected among various conditions which must be unanimously agreed upon by all shareholders.
There will no doubt be opposition to any such plans and discussions, where a report from The Athletic goes on to discuss concerns of players quarantining away from family and a feeling that “economic health” is being put before “mental and physical health.”
Every day new developments and proposals are shared from various sources and you can expect more after the Premier League and the club chiefs meet on Friday.