Premier League restart facing week’s delay over concern from players and managers

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The Premier League could a seven-day delay to their intended restart date as managers and players from the 20 clubs still hold concerns over safety protocols.

Talks have undergone throughout the week between various representatives as the English top flight gets to grips with new guidelines laid out by the government.

A relaxing of lockdown has coincided with calls for the Premier League to return to ‘lift the spirit of the nation’, and beyond unwanted parallels to wartime camaraderie, there is certainly a clamour from the public for this to occur.

This has put pressure on the 20 clubs to reach an agreement, but in meetings held earlier this week, both players and manager expressed reservations over safety.

It is already expected that a possible return to limited team training on Monday will be pushed back due to another meeting that day, and the Telegraph report that the fixture list is set to be delayed by seven more days.

Previously, the Premier League was anticipated to resume on June 12, but that is now more likely to be June 19.

Managers voiced their concern over a lack of full-contact training time to prepare for the original date, asking for at least a month, while players—largely represented by their captains—asked for more clarity over safety protocols.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 17, 2020: Liverpool players during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Club Atlético de Madrid and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda) Virgil van Dijk, Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho’, Roberto Firmino, Joe Gomez, Georginio Wijnaldum

This serves as another setback in negotiations over a return, but is unlikely to prove too big of an issue as problems should be ironed over with further detail.

In theory, Germany should provide the blueprint for how best to move forward with this situation, as clubs in the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga will return to action this weekend following a lengthy period back in training.

Clubs began socially distanced training towards the beginning of April, and sufficient assurances led to the government granting the resumption of football from mid-May.

Three Liverpool players could therefore be in action in the coming days, with Marko Grujic and Taiwo Awoniyi in the top flight with Hertha Berlin and Mainz respectively, and Nat Phillips pushing for promotion from the second tier with Stuttgart.

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