Jurgen Klopp was among the managers most vocally positive over restart plans for the Premier League, but they believe the proposed date of June 12 is ‘too ambitious’.
All 20 managers were present on a video call on Wednesday to discuss proposals for resuming the campaign, including the return to training later this month.
It is widely expected that clubs will report back for team exercises next week, and a June 12 restart date was pencilled in for the remaining 92 fixtures.
But managers have now suggested this will be “too ambitious,” given the lack of training time, agreeing that they will need longer for their players to get back up to speed.
According to the Times, “managers feel government pressure is forcing them to return to competitive action” and “believe that they need at least four weeks of full contact training.”
There are also concerns among both players and managers over the protocols for non-contact training, and are still waiting on protocols for full training before they commit.
If all goes well, Premier League clubs should sign off on protocols at their next shareholders’ meeting on Monday, which means that the return to training will be delayed until “at least Tuesday.”
However, all parties maintain a “collective desire” to finish the season, with Klopp among the most vocal at the meeting.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein described the Liverpool manager as “keen to try and finish the season on grounds of sporting integrity, irrespective of his team’s hopes of lifting the title.”
Klopp “sounded reassured on areas such COVID-19 testing,” though according to the Times he explored the plans for a 40-person pool of players and staff due to limits to testing, which will be conducted twice a week.
He is claimed to have asked whether clubs could promote youth players to the squad in the event of “multiple injuries and, possibly, COVID-19 infections.”
This is a sensible approach, initially restricting the group available but adding to it if required.
Klopp’s core staff can be considered to be assistants Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders, goalkeeping coaches John Achterberg and Jack Robinson, elite development coach Vitor Matos and head of fitness Andreas Kornmayer.
But this will need to be extended in this 40-strong group, including various medical staff such as head of nutrition Mona Nemmer, rehabilitation manager Philipp Jacobsen, fitness coach David Rydings and physio Christopher Rohrbeck.
There should be no issue in this case, as even including youngsters Caoimhin Kelleher, Neco Williams, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, Klopp’s regular senior squad only totals 26.