Premier League asks clubs to share performance data

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THE Premier League is asking clubs to share their performance data in order to ensure they do not gain a competitive advantage from new Project Restart protocols.

A ‘shareholder meeting’ of the 20 Premier League will take place via Zoom tomorrow, with discussions continuing over the resumption of the season. The Project Restart working group sent proposals regarding training and matches to the clubs yesterday (Saturday May 9th).

These included sending training performance data, including GPS, to the Premier League, club sources have told TGG. There has been concern among some that rivals might gain a competitive advantage by stretching the protocols, which will include training in small groups of only five players with three members of staff present.

For the last fortnight, clubs have been permitted to conduct only individual training, with Tottenham and Arsenal leading the way in re-opening their training grounds.

As TGG reported last week, the next phase will be training in small groups, with an extensive coronavirus testing programme the key. Players are scheduled to be tested from Thursday, with the results expected back within 24 hours.

Tests will be taken from the front of the nose and there will be testing stations at either the training grounds or in private locations. Players and core staff will be tested twice per week and, as the Daily Telegraph revealed last week, the tests are being overseen by Hong Kong biotech company Prenetics, with whom the Premier League has signed a £4m deal.

Once the first wave of tests have been completed, clubs will be able to conduct pre-season testing and then train in small groups from next Monday (18th May).

Social distancing will have to be enforced at all times and players will have to change and shower at home. Communal areas such as showers, gyms and canteens will remain closed. Players are advised to wear masks or snoods during training, to prevent them from touching their faces with their hands.

Although a heated debate is anticipated during tomorrow's shareholder meeting - particularly over the proposal to play matches at neutral venues - a vote is on Project Restart is not expected. Any proposals require the approval of 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs in order to be passed.

The Project Restart working group has been led by Premier League Director of Football Richard Garlick, Medical Adviser Mark Gillett and Head of Elite Performance Andy O’Boyle.

It had been reported that club doctors had raised concerns about the return to training protocols and sent 100 questions to the Premier League.

However, Zaf Iqbal, chairman of the Premier League Doctors Group, said "these are not the views or questions of the 20 doctors".

He added: “Everyone was canvassed and a few doctors responded and these were sent on anonymously, confidentially and in good faith. I think it is unfair to say they were sent as the views or concerns of the wider group.

"No further comments will be made as we try and navigate the best path for players and staff whose safety is paramount.”

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