‘Project Restart’: Premier League ramps up plans for resuming season

‘Project Restart’: Premier League ramps up plans for resuming season

Plans to resume the Premier League season will step up this week in what has been labelled “Project Restart”.

Arsenal, Brighton and West Ham have opened their training grounds to players for individual work on Monday.

The league is hopeful of a potential 8 June restart and finishing at the end of July to fit in with Uefa’s European competition plans. This would require full training to begin by 18 May.

Top-flight clubs will meet on Friday to discuss options for the restart.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he has been in contact with clubs about restarting the Premier League “as soon as possible”.

“I personally have been in talks with the Premier League with a view to getting football up and running as soon as possible in order to support the whole football community,” Dowden said during a parliamentary questions session for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport,

“But, of course, any such moves would have to be consistent with public health guidance.”

It comes as details emerge of a cross-sport working group set up to discuss options for returning to training.

From Tuesday, Tottenham will make a limited number of pitches available for the first-team squad to use in individual sessions.

Only one player will be allowed on a pitch and each player will travel independently to the training ground.

The club have also restricted the number of players who will be at the training ground at any one time.

The Premier League has been suspended since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic and all clubs remain committed to playing this season’s 92 remaining fixtures.

All games are expected to be held behind closed doors and the league is considering making some available on free-to-air TV.

One issue under debate on Friday will be what “approved stadiums” will be used and whether that will be a limited number of grounds or neutral venues.

However, a return to action still depends on the government’s five tests being met, especially an increase in testing, and meeting social distancing guidelines.