Premier League's 'Project Restart' plan to resume football in the month of June is seemingly gaining momentum with every passing day. With clubs and the league officials on the same page about a potential Premier League return, the hierarchy could soon formulate a foolproof plan and timeline to present to the UK government. While the government may approve the league's plans to resume the season next month, games may not take place in the capital. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated that it is 'too early' for Premier League matches to be staged in the capital.
Government has announced that the Premier League can be broadcast from behind closed doors from June 1, paving the way for return of the Premier League— James Benge (@jamesbenge) May 11, 2020
A spokesman for the Mayor of London recently spoke to Evening Standard claiming Sadiq Khan is "very keen" for a Premier League return along with the return of other professional sporting activities in the country. However, with London being one of the cities majorly hit due to coronavirus in the UK, Sadiq Khan and his representative do not think it would be wise to host Premier League games in the city. The UK has already recorded over 220,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a death toll breaching the 32,000 mark. As for London, the Greater London area has recorded over 18,000 cases with the number rising rapidly. Amid such critical circumstances, London may not be permitted to stage Premier League games for the foreseeable future.
As quoted by the British publication, the spokesman for the Mayor of London said, "With the country still in the grips of this crisis, and hundreds of people dying every day, he believes that it is too early to be discussing the resumption of the Premier League and top-flight sport in the capital. As a Liverpool fan, Sadiq Khan, of course, wants the Premier League to return, but it can only happen when it is safe to do so, and it cannot place any extra burden on the NHS and emergency services."
The UK government recently announced a roadmap to ease lockdown regulations in the UK in bid to slowly get life in the county back to normal. Per UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's blueprint, sports will be permitted to return from June 1 but spectators will not be allowed back into stadiums until a vaccine is found. As for a Premier League return, a date of June 12 is speculated by the British media.
June 8th for the @premierleague return! This is being briefed anonymously. No-one wants to put their name against this one!— Gary Neville (@GNev2) April 30, 2020
Reports also suggest the league is planning to complete all the 92 remaining fixtures within a span of three weeks in June and July. Earlier reports stated the clubs had agreed to play the fixtures at neutral venues. However, latest reports state not many clubs are inclined towards playing the games at neutral venues. One argument made by the clubs is it would be easier to stage closed-door matches at their home grounds. As of now, discussions are ongoing and may lead to a concrete decision in the coming weeks.