Face masks, disinfectant and Covid-19 testing are amongst the protocols which are aiming to get football restarted as the Premier League plots a potential return.
Premier League director of football, Richard Garlick, has drawn up a seven-page document detailing the procedures that would need to be followed to ensure a safe return to the sport, with strict measures to be put in place should top-flight sides be allowed to resume training.
The plans will be discussed at a meeting between Premier League clubs on Friday and will also require all players and staff to pass a coronavirus test in the 48 hours before a return to group sessions.
Football remains suspended indefinitely amid the global pandemic but the latest reports have accelerated the prospect of a resumption to the current season, with an ambition to return to full contract training by late May.
According to the Telegraph, the procedures put in place include:
- All footballs, GPS units, cones, corner flags, goalposts and other equipment to be disinfected before and after use by staff wearing PPE
- Players encouraged to wear a snood or face mask at all times
- Cars to be parked three spaces apart
- No massages unless approved by a club doctor
- Fluids to be left at designated pick-up points
- Only visiting training block to use toilet
- Initially only five players per training group
- Players to be given designated time slots and 15 minutes to prepare
- 75 minutes of small group training
- 15 minutes recovery
- Players and staff will be banned from spitting at the training ground
The aim is to begin small group training in the coming weeks before moving into larger group sessions, with the hope that the Premier League season can be resumed behind-closed-doors in June.
The latest emphasis English football’s continued commitment to concluding the current campaign, despite several of Europe’s leading leagues – including the Eredivisie and Ligue 1 – having cancelled the remainder of their respective seasons.
The plans are likely to face elements of opposition, however, with The Athletic reporting concern among a number of players about the safety of rushing the sport back to action, while Gary Neville suggested that the desire to restart the season is being driven by economic pressures as opposed to safety.