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:
Premier League Shareholders today agreed to a new provisional restart date for the 2019/20 season of Wednesday 17 June, provided that all safety requirements are in place
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 28, 2020
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.
Premier League clubs given green light to stage friendlies ahead of season restart.
* Clubs forbidden from travelling further than 90 mins
* Players must travel in their own cars
* Coaching staff to referee gameshttps://t.co/erBLFl5JVW
— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) June 2, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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