Premier League clubs have been warned that the games might be played behind closed doors without Premier League fans at least for the next one year amid the coronavirus crisis. A similar concept is being followed in Bundesliga which resumed on May 16 without the presence of the fans in any of the stadiums to avoid the violation of social distancing norms.
The representatives of 20 Premier League clubs met on Monday to discuss the future course of action, including voting on the new training protocols. The meeting saw all 20 representatives agree to the idea of implementing Phase 1 of the training protocol, which will see the players return to train in groups of 5, albeit without any contact.
The meeting also discussed the fact that the Premier League games might be played behind closed doors without the Premier League fans for the next one year at least. Apart from the ‘one-year closed-door’ concept, it was also revealed that the players will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine before they could resume playing in the competition, something that was seen again in the Bundesliga.
Premier League medical chief Mark Gillett has warned that the situation wasn’t going to improve in the next 6 months or even 1 year. He asserted that it was important for people to understand and accept these cultural changes. The government has advised the players to be quarantined for a period of 14 days, said Gillett. He, however, acceded that the decision will be taken only after wider consultation with the players, the managers and the PFA.
Premier League CEO Richard Masters claimed that the June 12 date was seen more of a staging post than the actual day for a Premier League return. Premier League players need at least three weeks of contact training before they could be declared match-ready, said Masters. If the three-week period is accepted, then the resumption date might be pushed back to June 26. Meanwhile, the Premier League coronavirus testing shall be done twice a week until the season is completed.