Premier League Monday meeting sees the 20 clubs vote on return to training after tests
Premier League clubs have their latest meeting via video conferencing today.
The playing squads and other staff have been tested for the virus this weekend and Steve Bruce has said that all being well, Newcastle’s players will return to training on Tuesday at 2pm.
The 20 Premier League clubs will vote today on that proposed return to training and if passed, players will be able to train in groups of five from Tuesday.
It is understood that training will follow three stages, starting in those groups of five tomorrow, then training in larger groups, before finally a return to full contact training.
Steve Bruce has claimed that at least six weeks or more of training would be needed to get ‘these players into shape or they are just going to fall down like a pack of cards.’ If the Premier League agreed with this stance, it would rule out the much talked about aimed for weekend of Saturday 13 June for the return of matches, making it the end of June instead, or even later.
Bundesliga clubs were ready to return to playing after four weeks but the government timetable of easing virus lockdown meant they had to wait six weeks until this weekend.
Whilst it was of course strange seeing games on TV with no fans inside stadiums, the standard of football was very good, with the organisation / planning excellent and no holding back from players during the game.
Today’s Premier League meeting will see the clubs get a report on the return on the Bundesliga return and the feedback will surely be overwhelmingly positive, giving clubs the confidence to get moving as quickly as possible towards a return to top tier football in England.
One easy decision for all parties, whether clubs, police or government, should be to rule out the daft idea of using neutral grounds. Police in Germany said they had no problems at all in terms of fears that large numbers of fans would turn up outside stadiums, so many fans in advance (both in Germany and England) pointing out why exactly would you turn up outside a stadium where you won’t be able to watch the game, when you could stay at home and watch all the matches live on TV.
Even the fierce rivalry of the Ruhr derby saw no issues, two clubs less than 20 miles apart and normally there would have been 80,000 at Dortmund v Schalke, yet no problems there either.
As for what comes next.
Following today’s Premier League meeting, Tuesday should see players back training.
Then a week today (Monday 25 May) UEFA have a deadline for leagues to have finalised plan for restarting seasons by then, or indeed if they are going to cancel the rest of the season.
The UK government has said that behind closed doors sport will be allowed as from the start of June (Newcastle racecourse, owned by the Reuben brothers, will host the first race meeting after lockdown’s easing), with them fully supportive of the Premier League kicking off again as soon as it is possible to do so.
Both Serie A and La Liga were also aiming for that Saturday 13 June weekend for restarting, as well as the Premier League, so it will be interesting what the reality ends up being.
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