This week’s efforts will intensify to find a way to complete the Premier League season, after the government has announced its determination to see football return “as soon as possible’, The Guardian reports. Only the government’s go-ahead is required, per this report.
It is agreed that PHE and the government would have to sign off any medical and safety plans. Correspondingly, this week, there will be a meeting between the DCMS, members of Public Health England and executives from the biggest sports in Britain, including the Premier League. They are expected to discuss how sport could safely resume.
The specifics of how elite sport could return safely remain unresolved. While the problems of staging sport are increasingly being addressed, even behind closed doors, those that precede any restart of competition are also becoming the center of attention.
Nonetheless, government officials are thinking about a “pace quickening” despite Premier League clubs set to meet on Friday and a new grouping also holding a meeting this week headed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
West Ham, Brighton and Arsenal have already reopened their facilities for training while still observing social distancing rules on Monday and Tottenham will do the same on Tuesday. Each club sets its own terms, including time limits and number of athletes.
On Friday the league will provide clubs with a protocol to make a full return to the training. After a weekend of reports proclaiming the return of top-flight football, with a three-week pre-season beginning in May and 9 June matches behind closed doors, Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, told parliament on Monday that he supported a rapid return but with a prologue.
“I have been in discussions with the Premier League directly with a view to getting football up and running as quickly as possible to help the whole football community.” he said. “But any such changes would, of course, have to be consistent with guidelines on public health.”