According to the Telegraph (subscription required), the Premier League’s return to action is expected to be delayed by a week until June 19 after players and managers expressed concerns.
The Telegraph state that all 20 clubs agreed to resume training sessions from next week, which resembles ‘phase one’ of the plans for a return to action.
However, current plans suggest that ‘phase one’ will involve groups of no more than five players working with three coaches, these sessions will adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The main reason behind the expected delayed return is that managers aren’t convinced that they will have enough time to prepare their squads for an initially planned June 12 restart.
The Telegraph claim that the Premier League are willing to push back plans to return to action by at least a week after these concerns were voiced.
The Telegraph add that three of the league’s bottom six clubs were ‘most vocal’ in raising concerns about the top-flight’s return, this is perhaps the latest in a string of issues that seems to have caused distress between clubs at the top and bottom.
It’s claimed that these teams’ reasoning was the difficulty they may face in bringing foreign players back to the United Kingdom whilst we are in a lockdown.
In addition concerns were raised regarding players who live alongside family members who would be at risk if they were to be infected.
It’s claimed that managers would require ‘three to four weeks’ of full training in order to get their players ready for a return, with ‘phase one’ yet to start, full-contact training is still some way away.
As per the Telegraph (subscription required), the top-flight have agreed a deal worth £4m for Coronavirus testing kits, with players and staff to be tested twice a week.
With no recent serious advances in the development of a vaccine, should a return to action for any sporting events – let alone the Premier League – even be considered at this point in time?