One of the most followed club football competitions across the globe – Premier League, which has been on hold since March 13, has ramped up their plans to finally resume the season this week ahead of a shareholders’ meeting on Friday (May 1). Called as ‘Project Restart’, the plans would see the return of top-flight football live but behind closed doors on June 8 following a three-month break because of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, officials hope that that the season can be concluded by the end of July, ensuring the title winners. Also Read - Delhi's Health Infrastructure Should be Reserved For Delhiites, Suggests Doctors' Panel
European spots and relegation places will also be decided as normal. Recently, three major London clubs, Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur, along with Brighton, have already re-opened their training grounds, allowing limited return for players while observing social distancing protocols. Also Read - Unlock 1 in Goa: Despite Chief Minister's Nod, Mosques to Remain Shut Till June 30
As per the clubs directives, players will only be using outdoor field facilities for individual work and will not take part in team activities. Also Read - Oxford Journal Adds 'Lessons From Bhagwad Gita' to Its Paper on 'COVID-19 And Healthcare Workers', Relates With Religious Text
“No more than one player per pitch will be permitted at any one time to undertake on-pitch exercise, with only a restricted number of the squad coming to the training centre each day,” a Tottenham statement said.
“Each player will travel independently and arrive at the facilities already dressed in training wear before returning home immediately after they have concluded their session.”
Premier League clubs will hold their latest conference call on Friday as they continue to evaluate various options for finishing the season. But despite all the hurry, the re-start is not expected until June at the earliest.
With the ban on mass public gatherings likely to be one of the last restrictions to be removed, rescheduled games could be held behind closed doors, possibly at neutral venues.
Recently, the U.K. government’s cabinet minister responsible for sport said he has been in talks with the Premier League with the aim of getting football back on the field as quickly as possible.
Oliver Dowden, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, who is responsible for sport, said he had been in talks with the Premier League “with a view to getting football up and running as soon as possible” but stressed any moves would have to be consistent with public health guidance.
There are financial and legal reasons as well because of which the clubs remain committed to complete the 2019-20 campaign which still has 92 games remaining.