Here are links to the most recent stories in Week 8 of the lockdown:
Shadow sports minister proposes 20 questions over Premier League's Project Restart
In a letter seen by Mirror Sport, the Labour MP for Wirral South has asked sports minister Nigel Huddleston to "swiftly" provide information on a range of subjects surrounding the plan, including the amount of coronavirus testing that will be needed, the safety of participants and how many medical staff will be in attendance for behind closed doors matches.
The 20 questions are provided at the following link.
The Mirror — 11 May
Project Restart: the four stances dividing Premier League clubs
For some clubs ‘the show must go on' while others say 'if not now, when?' 'Health comes first' and ‘not under these conditions' — at the following link The Guardian takes a look at the differing approaches to a resumption that are dividing the Premier League clubs.
The Guardian — 11 May
Clubs want rethink on neutral grounds directive
The Premier League have been urged to ask the Government to reconsider their stance on football having to restart at neutral venues by as many as 12 of its clubs.
The Telegraph — 11 May
Clubs hope police support will help scrap neutral venues proposal
A group of Premier League clubs are to hold talks with their local police forces this week, with hopes the idea of using neutral venues can be scrapped.
Sky Sports — 12 May
Tackling and contact to be prohibited initially when training resumes
Premier League players would be barred from tackling and close contact at their training grounds if group training sessions are allowed to resume in the nextr few weeks.
A document is believed to have been circulated to clubs outlining a number of measures designed to convince players, their employers, the game's governing bodies and the Government that football can safely restart next month.
Among them are bi-weekly tests for novel coronavirus, daily temperature checks and questionnaire, a mandatory seven-day quarantine for positive cases.
If any player tests positive, with or without symptoms, they will be forced to self-isolate for seven days, and directives that players drive themselves alone to training where they won't be fed.
The Mirror — 12 May
Premier League stars could refuse to return to training next week
Premier League players could refuse to return to training on Monday even if Project Restart gets the green light. Clubs fear players with asthma, family members with underlying health issues and BAME players will not sign consent forms to return to training.
The Premier League are aiming to restart the season on 12 June and will hold a video meeting with players and managers on Wednesday to discuss safety concerns.
The Mirror — 12 May
Premier League captains meet officials to discuss concerns over 'Project Restart'
Project Restart could be delayed at least a week after a meeting with players and managers today where club captains expressed concerns about player safety and sought further assurances. The planned return date of June 12 could be pushed back as the Premier League looks to get top-flight football up and running.
The video conference call lasted over 2 hours as players looked for more information on what a return to training and action could look like. Players on the call were joined by their managers, as well as Premier League medical officer Mark Gillett and Government medical expert Dr Jonathan Van-Tam.
The Echo — 13 May
Friday Night Football set to kick off TV 'bonanza'
Friday Night Football is set to kick off a TV 'bonanza' on the opening weekend of Premier League's 'Project Restart' in June with all 10 games to be televised live and Tottenham v Man United the favourite for being the curtain-raiser.
TV companies have been told to prepare for the season to resume on 12 or 19 June, with a Friday night game, four on Saturday and four on Sunday before the return of Monday Night Football each weekend.
The Mail — 14 May
Government confirm the Premier League can return in June
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden declared: ”The Government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June.
“This should include widening access for fans to view live coverage and ensure finances from the game's resumption supports the wider football family.”
The Mail — 15 May
Single failed Covid-19 test spells quarantine for squads
Premier League squads could be quarantined in the event of a single failed coronavirus test if clubs vote to return to training next week.
The Guardian – 15 May
Reader Comments (36)
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1 Posted 11/05/2020 at 12:11:08
2 Posted 11/05/2020 at 13:35:48
The knock on effect in terms of future seasons, player contracts, retention and trading of players, other sports, and other competitions are being completely ignored. More importantly, so are the health implications for all concerned.
3 Brighton players have reported as testing positive. Will anyone want to play them? Or play anyone who has played them?
The financial hit needs to be taken. The season aborted. They can have the title, for what it means in the overall context of the world at the moment. Then let us move on when we have a clearer picture with next season delayed, if necessary, until it is safe to play.
3 Posted 11/05/2020 at 13:47:55
I agree with most of your comment.
But THEY should not be given anything as they have not won anything. I wouldnt even give them a paper certificate. Screw them.
Im even looking forward to them whinging and whining about it in years to come.
Itll go like this:
“It wasnt our fault. It was our year.”
More important things.
Null and void.
4 Posted 11/05/2020 at 15:03:53
The Government announce no elite sports before 1st June, and that's if everything goes according to plan with the Covid-19 rate and the Clubs agreeing to all the nonsense.
It really is getting beyond a joke and the longer this goes on, the more foolish both the Premier League and the clubs are going to look.
Everton can be so brilliant at times with their Community links and PR and so embarrassing with their being led by pathetic authorities.
5 Posted 11/05/2020 at 15:58:50
6 Posted 11/05/2020 at 16:07:10
7 Posted 11/05/2020 at 16:12:57
Obviously any restart will depend on what happens with the spread of the virus in the coming weeks. A week is a long time in the development of Covid-19. As an illustration yesterday, Sunday 10th May, for the first time since early March Sefton reported no new confirmed cases, Liverpool reported four. A week ago, Sunday 3rd May, the figures were nineteen for Sefton and twenty six for Liverpool. Both boroughs have been in low single figures for each of the last four days.
Plainly if the current loosening of restrictions produces a significant new wave of cases the resumption of elite sports and much else will be further postponed. In the meantime all organisations and companies have a right, indeed a responsibility, to make plans for a resumption of business based on the best available assumptions.
Of one thing I believe we can be certain. The 19/20 Premier League season will not be declared null and void.
8 Posted 11/05/2020 at 16:14:35
9 Posted 11/05/2020 at 18:49:49
10 Posted 11/05/2020 at 19:01:49
Football is an industry the constituent parts of which (the clubs) a great many hold close to their hearts. It is a major part of the culture of this country and part of the core of social life for a great many people. It's also a major employer, directly and indirectly, of thousands. Given all this I'm just surprised that the EPL/EFL/FA have not yet opened discussions with government for a subsidy -- well if they can find £500m of supports to give to Easyjet to see it out of its difficulties then why not? And it wouldn't be difficult to design conditions to a subsidy that would favour the lesser clubs and lower leagues and not just re-boost the finances of the PL.
11 Posted 11/05/2020 at 19:18:54
No tackling will be allowed as that would break the social distance regulations and only 5 players would be in the change room at one time to keep the 6-foot distance. Would a player be allowed to sue the FA if he or she got the virus from playing games behind closed doors?
12 Posted 11/05/2020 at 19:40:22
13 Posted 11/05/2020 at 19:52:18
We will all be back to the Silva plan of marking space not people. Imagine that? Every game would end up 9-8 or something.
14 Posted 11/05/2020 at 20:31:26
15 Posted 11/05/2020 at 20:54:25
16 Posted 11/05/2020 at 20:56:19
One idea is to suspend the fixtures until September, then play the remaining fixtures sporadically and behind closed doors, and complete in 2021, in effect stretching over two seasons.
Hopefully there will be time and space to plan the games and other logistics in conjunction with various authorities. Of course it will mean less games but it will give chance to finish the season in February or March?
There will then be a few months for purely international friendlies with crowds (if Covid-19 is licked ) and time to prepare for Euros 2021. The first full resumption of the Premier League would be August or September for the 2021-22 season.
Yes, I know there is TV money and clubs' incomes being cut but they will just have to survive and live in the real world and adapt with a temporary hit till things get back to normal.
17 Posted 11/05/2020 at 21:11:08
Cancel it. They can create a new knockout competition and hold it this summer to satisfy the broadcasters. It can include just the Sky darlings.
18 Posted 11/05/2020 at 21:12:07
19 Posted 11/05/2020 at 21:29:38
Today's loosening of the Lockdown – when you actually look at what's changed – is minimal, so there's really no reason why the infection rate should rise swiftly, or why football – or many other businesses for that matter – can't start up again over the next couple of months, although under hugely different circumstances to when we left off in March.
My preference is for no football until it's safe to admit fans to the grounds again, but I'm pretty certain that won't be the case.
20 Posted 11/05/2020 at 21:42:38
And BBC Sport has learned the clubs were warned on Monday that figure could rise if the season is curtailed or if relegation is scrapped.
Danny Rose has put his head above the parapet by saying "The government is saying we are bringing football back because it is going to boost the nation's morale," he said in an Instagram live session.
"I don't give a fuck about the nation's morale. People's lives are at risk. Football shouldn't even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively.
"It's bollocks. We'll see. I'm supposed to be tested on Friday, so we will just have to wait and see.
I think we know which argument will 'win' the day.
21 Posted 11/05/2020 at 21:46:24
22 Posted 11/05/2020 at 21:49:03
23 Posted 11/05/2020 at 22:57:26
It's the players who simply have to take the financial hit. The 20 or so first team players at each Premier League club are vastly overpaid, but it's accepted when they're playing the matches. Now they aren't, slash their pay. None of them will starve, none will be homeless, all will continue to live like Kings.
For all their bluster a few weeks back, it's quite clear that most of them aren't giving anything to society. Frankly they make me sick and I know most fans are rapidly losing the emotional bond they had with their clubs. Be careful, Football... you might live to regret this virus more than you know.
24 Posted 12/05/2020 at 02:31:46
25 Posted 13/05/2020 at 13:02:40
26 Posted 13/05/2020 at 17:45:29
27 Posted 13/05/2020 at 19:14:55
28 Posted 14/05/2020 at 08:53:28
Guess I might need to reinstate BT Sport if this nonsense really goes ahead. Then again, seems likely most of our other less appealing games will be free-to-air or on YouTube.
Surely Amazon Prime will be in with a shout too? Or did they finish their allotted quota?
29 Posted 14/05/2020 at 09:50:00
30 Posted 14/05/2020 at 10:12:20
From what I remember, the walk from the dressing rooms up the tunnel to the pitch can be about 20 - 30 seconds, so if players have to abide by the two metre social distancing, and enter the pitch individually, it could take up to ten minutes before both teams are finally on the pitch. Maybe we could introduce the American style introduction in the NFL, when players names are read out before running into the pitch!!
31 Posted 14/05/2020 at 10:12:30
They have a Devine right to win the title every few years and this situation is merely depriving them of that right.
I propose that, once every 10 years, we simply cancel the league and award it to them for good behaviour.
Its only fair that a team that plays by the rules, doesnt try to con referees, has an impeccable equality and diversity record, has the best behaved and most knowledgeable fans in the world and made the unbelievable ethical decision to reverse the furlough scheme for their hard working, low earning staff, is awarded the title based on behavioural merit.
Im glad that someone else is seeing sense on this thread.
32 Posted 15/05/2020 at 14:55:11
The first breach in the dam in the top four divisions in England.
League Two's season has been brought to an early conclusion following discussions between clubs and the English Football League.
The table is set to be decided using a points-per-game method, but promotion and relegation are not finalised.
33 Posted 15/05/2020 at 15:01:33
34 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:13:53
35 Posted 15/05/2020 at 16:33:12
36 Posted 16/05/2020 at 08:24:14
It's obvious that all contracts where negotiated without taking into account any downside situation. The money flowed in, but now it's stopping and it will take time to recover.
Could mean a breakup of what has been before the pandemic. A separate Premier League from other Leagues and a European League.
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