Football Article

Premier League Restart Moves Closer

Premier League Restart Moves Closer Photo: TT
Premier League Restart Moves Closer

Plans to restart the Premier League could be in place by the end of this week.

Already players have resumed training in small groups, albeit with social distancing norms observed, and appropriate health protocols in place. And twice weekly testing of players and staff for Covid-19 has begun, with only a handful of positive results confirmed so far.

The next phase will involve the Premier League holding discussions with club captains, managers and representatives from the Professional Football Association (PFA) on the latest recommended advice from the UK on the resumption of sport in the country, ahead of a vote on Wednesday to determine if contact training can begin again.

If that goes ahead, which is widely expected will be the case, then clubs will get a further chance to discuss the broader aspects of what has been labelled Project Restart, and, by the end of the week, there could even be a provisional fixture list in place.

It is still not clear when the season will begin again though. Although it was originally expected to be June 12tth, that now looks too optimistic, and June 19th has been touted as a more realistic date. Some even want to wait a further week to give players more time to prepare and reach match fitness after their long lay-off.

Whenever the games do start again, they are likely to come thick and fast in a bid to get the current campaign finished so that the next season can start on time. With no fans in the stadiums, it will become a TV driven event, with all games likely to be staggered over a weekend, so that all can be shown live on television, with satellite and terrestrial broadcasters likely to share hosting rights.

And, without home or away supporters to worry about, that could also see games take place at unusual times, with some games staged in the morning to make them more attractive to audiences in Asia.

The situation is still fluid and evolving as can be seen from the fact that Bournemouth goalie Aaron Ramsdale tested positive for the coronavirus, but the impetus for a return to action in the Premier League is building.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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