This past weekend saw the Bundesliga return go smoothly as the likes of Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich took the field for the first time in over two months. With the Bundesliga return going smoothly, attention has now shifted to England, as pressure increases amid the Premier League hiatus. While the Premier League is reportedly mulling a return in early June, in order to prevent further damage amid the coronavirus UK crisis, Premier League Project Restart could see games being aired free of charge in order to keep supporters away from the stadiums.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, while speaking to Sky Sports, confirmed that the government was desperate to ensure an early Premier League return. He claimed that the government was ideating on the broadcast of Premier League games for free on TV to discourage people from venturing outside their homes amid the coronavirus UK situation. He further revealed that the government, together with the Premier League, was working hard to ensure a Premier League return by mid-June.
Dowden claimed that public safety is the utmost priority of the government amid the coronavirus UK crisis. He revealed that the Premier League aims to resume the competition by mid-June so that it could be brought to an end soon. However, he reiterated that the games will be played behind closed doors, in lines with Bundesliga. German top-flight football returned to action on May 16 with the Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. All the games were played behind closed doors.
Dowden revealed that the representatives of the 20 Premier League clubs will meet on Monday to vote on the new training protocols. At least 14 teams need to vote in favour of the protocol that involves guideline like 'players to get changed at home for training' as well as arriving for training on their own. Earlier in May, the office of Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave the go-ahead to the Premier League to resume the competition by June 12.
Health officials have been in constant touch with managers of the teams with an aim to draw a road map to ensure a smooth return to training for Premier League players. Meanwhile, the British Medical Association has lashed out at the Premier League for purchasing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, in excess of the requirement. The Association claimed that NHS workers were battling due to shortage of PPE kits, but the Premier League didn't shy away from purchasing in excess of their requirement.