On the day of the announcement, Premier League has had a meeting to discuss the plans to resume action. No fixed date for resumption of the action has been confirmed so far though, it is expected the league may restart as early as on June 1. Thus becoming the second major league in Europe after German Bundesliga to start action again.
Following the meeting on Monday, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters has said the 20 clubs are united in their desire to get the 2019/20 season back up and running and that players and managers will have an important role in that return.
“In today’s (Monday’s) meeting, it was reiterated the Premier League and clubs absolutely recognise the COVID-19 pandemic puts football into context,” Masters said. “So many lives have been lost and so many others deeply affected.
“We are proud at the response to the pandemic that the Premier League, our clubs and our players have provided with vital support to communities and to the NHS and hopefully will continue to do so after matches recommence.”
Masters said the League will follow Government advice as well as that of others in planning a return of the competition.
“We are working flat out with clubs and stakeholders – Government, our broadcast partners, The FA, the EFL, PFA and the LMA – to create a responsible, safe and deliverable model to complete the season.
“Of course, safety comes first. We must listen to Government, the authorities and the medical experts and continue to follow their advice. That is exactly what we are doing. We are getting ourselves in the best position to resume the season, but only when the conditions are right.”
Masters also said that only after consultation with the players and managers would there be the next step of clubs returning to training, but with social-distancing measures put in place. For that, he added, a company had been appointed to conduct testing at club training grounds.
The issue of where the remaining Premier League matches would be played was also discussed, with the possibility of using neutral venues raised. But Masters stressed that the Shareholders’ desire was to complete the season playing matches at their originally scheduled venues.
“Obviously it is the preference of all our clubs to play at home if at all possible,” Masters said. “It is an ongoing dialogue and we’ve been talking to the authorities about the conditions in which we could get the Premier League back up and running and are taking all that advice on board.”
The Premier League was earlier planning to return from June 8. Now it’s expected that with the Government nod, the action may be advanced by a week.
There are also concerns about as some players contracts will be expiring on June 30. The league has reportedly agreed to extend the deals until the end of the 2019-20 season.
The path ahead may still not be so smooth as Brighton have confirmed that the club’s another player had tested COVID-19 positive this weekend.