Premier League Targets Behind Closed Doors Return In June
The Premier League will hold further talks this week, as it targets a return behind closed doors in June – and it has the backing of the government.
All 20 clubs will hold their latest conference call on Friday, armed with the knowledge that the country’s political leaders are also keen for the season to resume when possible.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said in the House of Commons: “I personally have been in talks with the Premier League, with a view to getting football up and running as soon as possible in order to support the whole football community.
“But, of course, any such moves would have to be consistent with public health guidance.”
The government’s next review of current lockdown restrictions is due on May 7, as detailed planning continues under a ‘Project Restart’ programme.
Prime minister Boris Johnson said on Monday: “I ask you to contain your impatience.”
Johnson says the UK is “making progress” and “beginning to turn the tide” against the coronavirus pandemic but urged people to maintain social distancing restrictions.
Sport will only resume when the government is satisfied its own measures are in place.
The Premier League, along with other sports, will have to meet specific criteria before a return including testing arrangements for participants, paid for by sporting authorities or clubs, and ensuring measures are in place to avoid fans gathering outside matches.
It has yet to be decided whether games will resume at approved stadiums, or at a neutral venue such as St George’s Park.
The Premier League remains committed to completing the remaining 92 games of the season, in line with UEFA’s recommendation.