As the Premier League gear up for a return to action, West Ham’s Vice-chair, Karren Brady, has brought the problems of ‘Project Restart’ into sharp focus.
Though teams across Europe have begun to return to training, albeit under certain guidelines to ensure that the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t spread, the next stages to get to the point where games can take place would appear to be fraught with difficulty.
“We await to see what the PM will announce on Sunday,” Brady said in her column in The Sun.
“If lockdown is lifted and Government and PHE give us permission to resume non-contact training, there are to be new rules for players and staff. This includes not sharing cars, to limits through to the time a small group training session should last (75 minutes) and standing two metres away from each other.
“In this phase, tackling is prohibited but passing and shooting is allowed. We will also need to disinfect the corner flags, goalposts and even the grass — although how remains a mystery as that usually kills it.
“[…] There is no hiding, either, we are a long way from moving to non-contact training to actually playing competitive games.
“And before we do, every club will have to produce a Covid-19 operational policy to be agreed by the Board and communicated with every player and staff member.”
Clearly, from a business perspective, there’s a need to get things going again. Clubs, who are seemingly already reeling from issues regarding broadcaster revenue, or lack of it more accurately, simply won’t survive if the current status quo goes on for too much longer.
Indeed, back in April, Burnley’s chairman, Mike Garlick, warned that his club would go out of business if the lockdown didn’t end before August, per a separate report in The Sun.
However, whilst a blind eye can’t be turned to those issues, all the while the virus remains a threat, surely any thoughts of getting back out on the pitch have to be put on the back burner.