Premier League clubs ‘tell players to prepare for May 9 return’

Premier League clubs plan to return to training on May 9 after telling players to get ready to go back to work. PREMIER LEAGUE clubs are aiming to get back into training on May 9. Managers throughout the country have been in touch with their ‘holidaying’ players to tell them of the new plans.

West Ham players

Premier League clubs have pencilled in a return to training on 9 May as they hope to start playing matches again by mid-June. Lockdown in the UK, due to the coronavirus crisis, was extended by at least three weeks on 16 April, which means it runs until at least 7 May.

The UK government will review the current lockdown on May 7, although there are few guarantees that social distancing measures will be relaxed enough for football teams to resume training.

Premier League bosses have previously said football will only return “when it is safe and appropriate to do so.”

Football stakeholders are in discussions about how to complete the season, including a proposal to house teams in World Cup-style camps and play out matches behind closed doors.

Clubs are clearly hoping it will not be extended still further, lockdown is eased or that they can come to an arrangement to circumvent lockdown rules.

The Sun reports that Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Burnley and West Ham are all working towards a return to training on 9 May, with Crystal Palace also expected to do the same.

While the plans of other clubs have not been made known, it is believed that this date is being widely targeted as a realistic chance to get back on the training pitch. Mid-June remains a very tentative aim for Premier League games to start up again, although these will certainly be behind closed doors.

What training will look like, if it begins again on 9 May, is not clear and it may be that clubs have to follow the lead of Germany, where some clubs are already back in training. However, it is not training as they know it, with players only working in small groups of seven or less and not allowed within two metres of each other.
Bayern Munich goalkeeper said on 6 April: ‘It was certainly a very unusual feeling holding a training session in small groups today, but it was also nice to see the boys in person again.’ A return to Bundesliga action is still not confirmed, despite training going on for over two weeks, as there is an issue surrounding coronavirus tests for players. Players would have to be tested in order to play matches and there is a surrounding debate as to whether footballers showing no symptoms should be tested when other, more vulnerable, members of society are not.

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