While players understandably have some reservations about returning to play football in the time of COVID-19, the “majority” want to return and have apparently reached a “broad consensus” with the Premier League over doing so.
That’s the biggest story from yesterday’s latest round of meetings, according to the Telegraph. The other big story is that the first game will likely be pushed back a week, to June 19, to give teams and players more time to get back up to some level of match fitness. While teams can return to individual training right now (and some already have), group training cannot begin until May 25 at the earliest.
The league have, at long last, started stepping up their efforts to plan and keep managers and players involved and informed, and that’s now paying off with both groups giving positive feedback for Project Restart and allowing it to move forward in a meaningful way.
With managers raising concern over the length of what essentially will be pre-season training, but not quite as intense, the league are “prepared” to push the date of the first games back to June 19 (assuming all the relevant go-aheads are received from the government of course).
And with players raising concerns over health issues, the league have apparently made extra reassurances that all possible protocols and precautions will be taken. And though some “urged greater caution”, it sounds like the majority are in agreement and willing to go forward. (It will be interesting to see if any players hold out if and when we do get to playing again, and how the clubs and the league might handle them…)