Premier League clubs given ‘green light’ to hold friendlies ahead of season’s return

As revealed this afternoon, clubs in the Premier League have been granted permission to hold a number of friendly fixtures, ahead of the campaign’s imminent return.

PL return incoming

Following a near 3-month hiatus amid the COVID-19 crisis, major progress towards the resumption of top-flight football in the UK has been made over the last couple of weeks.

At a meeting between Premier League shareholders last month, it was reiterated that all 20 clubs intend to play out their remaining fixtures.

This was followed by a key step forward in the ‘Project Restart’ process, when confirmation was forthcoming that a return to ‘small group training’ had been sanctioned.

And, finally, in the announcement that football lovers across England and beyond had been patiently waiting for, the Premier League revealed that a date had been set for a return to competitive action:

Friendly fixtures on the horizon

One concern to have been consistently voiced ahead of the campaign getting back underway, however, surrounds a lack of match sharpness.

With Premier League clubs set to hit the 3-month mark without a competitive fixture under their belts next week, it has been suggested that a visible drop in standard may be forthcoming, when football finally returns.

Further fears over the potential injury repercussions set to be brought about by such a swift return to an action-packed schedule have also been raised.

As outlined above, though, an initiative to ease such concerns across the Premier League landscape has today been approved.

As per a report from the Telegraph, English top-flight clubs have been granted permission to hold friendly fixtures amongst themselves, to build match fitness ahead of the season’s resumption.

A negative coronavirus test will understandably be required by all players before taking to the pitch, with some of the other conditions to ensure maximum safety also outlined below:

  • Clubs are forbidden from travelling for further than 90 minutes
  • All players must travel in their own cars, possibly in their kits
  • No official referees will be allowed, with members of coaching staff taking charge
  • Full risk-assessments of the stadium/training ground before games

Such friendlies are expected to get underway as early as this weekend.

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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