Premier League: May 18th is earliest training can resume

THE Premier League has outlined a best-case scenario of players being able to return to their clubs for training on Monday May 18th.

Last week, EFL chairman Ricky Parry wrote to his clubs to tell them that the earliest training could re-commence was May 16th. The Premier League's guidance is based on matches potentially resuming on Monday June 8th, which would mean players having three weeks to train before their first game.

Premier League clubs held a conference call led by chief executive Richard Masters on Friday and were told that the government would not be making a special case for them in the coming weeks and months.

This would mean social distancing and hygiene protocols being followed, such as players showering and changing at their homes instead of at the training grounds, as well as mass coronavirus testing of both players and staff.

A group of Premier League clubs had held private talks about setting a deadline of June 30th for the campaign to be completed, but this was not raised during the conference call as it was not felt to be appropriate at this time.

Instead, there was a commitment from all clubs to finish the season if possible, based on the existing fixture list.

“In common with other businesses and industries, the Premier League and our clubs are working through complex planning scenarios,” the Premier League said in a statement.

“Today's shareholders' meeting provided an opportunity to discuss possible scheduling models. It remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season, but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of Covid-19 develops.”

At the end of last month, TGG asked the Sheffield Wednesday and Wales Head of Performance Tony Strudwick how long he thought players would need to train before being able to play their first match.

“I think it will depend on the length of the break,” he said. “I would guess that there will be a three to four-week period before competitive matches start again.

“Not only have you got to get your players ready again for matches, but the chances are you are going to have to cram nine games into a relatively short period of time - and that you are going to have a turnaround of a game every three to four days.

“Have we got the opportunity to organise some friendlies? What does that look like? There’s also the bigger picture of the health and wellbeing of everyone around it, not only the players.”

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