14th May 2020,
Updated: 14th May 2020,
Premier League players and managers have raised major concerns about restarting the season on June 12.
Under proposals known as ‘Project Restart’, games which have been suspended since March 13, players would return to full training on Monday with matches resuming next month.
However, a number of concerns were raised around safety protocols and having enough time to prepare for a return to action during two video conferences on Wednesday involving all 20 managers, a senior player from each side and Premier League chiefs and medical experts.
The Premier League are now preparing to push their target date back for a season restart by at least a week, to June 19.
According to The Times:
- Managers feel government pressure is forcing them to return to competitive action with insufficient time to properly prepare their players;
- Managers raised the question about liability should anyone become seriously ill with coronavirus, with clubs unsure whether they will receive legal clearance to sign up to the protocols by Monday;
- Players believe they need at least four weeks of full contact training, but as yet have only been presented with non-contact protocols;
- Players don’t want to sign forms declaring they are happy with the protocols until they have seen the second protocols that involve returning to full contact training;
- Clubs have been told their testing pools must be limited to 40 people because of a limited number of tests, forcing managers to limit their backroom teams; and
- Players felt many questions are still unanswered, not least around safety.
Shaun Wright-Phillips defends Danny Rose’s stance around Premier League’s resumption
Captains will seek feedback from their squads in the meantime and those views could be further fed into Monday’s shareholders’ meeting where clubs will be asked to sign off the protocols for first stage of training, which involves players working in small groups while maintaining social distancing.
It is understood players received an eight-page document outlining Premier League protocols for a resumption of training this week.
Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose are two high profile players to cast doubt about returning too quickly following Tyrone Mings and Sergio Aguero before.