The English Premier League has been put on hold since early March 2020, with over a month of postponed games and isolation, are we any closer to resuming the 19/20 schedule? – Clubs across the English Premier League have begun making plans to get their squads back in training. With tight restrictions still in place, they could be required to keep players in quarantine whilst training, opening up to ideas such as temporary accommodation or booking up entire hotels.
The biggest clubs in the Premier League are now attempting to figure out a plan to proceed with daily training. The answer is simple for the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, and Tottenham; simply because these sides would have their team staying at their training grounds with facilities already in place that could protect the wellbeing of a team in training.
For example; the 3rd floor of Manchester City’s headquarters at their ‘City Football Academy’ is already a reservation of four-star bedrooms for their players. F
Former defender Pablo Zabaleta has vouched for the accommodation;
‘you come here each day thinking, “I’d rather be here than my house!”.’ He told the BBC whilst explaining the setup of City’s 200 million Etihad Campus.
Some clubs, however, wouldn’t be so lucky. They would need to install temporary facilities to cover sleeping arrangements for their players, while the hotel option makes more sense.
A letter from UEFA
The English Premier League, amongst other European leagues, has made discussions of resuming the league in, on or around the middle of June (13th-14th). With available odds for Belarus football remaining as one of the sole domestic leagues still in-play, the urge for our football season’s to continue becomes stronger.
This announcement came after the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) wrote to the domestic football associations. It stated their passion to have domestic leagues finish their competitions before the end of July, to leave the month of August free for the completion of the Champions League and Europa League.
With billions, possibly trillions at stake from the deals currently in place, it’s imperative for UEFA and domestic teams to finish out their season. The financial implications would be truly catastrophic if league and championship competitions weren’t able to resume.
The letter received from European football’s governing body gave a somewhat transcript, composed from the two-hour conference call UEFA held on Friday 17th, April.
All plans that are being made in accordance to the resumption of play are being made with matches that are modeled whilst occurring behind closed doors, whilst the final decision making will NOT override the National Health Service’s principles, and should not compromise the NHS and their ability to treat patients with COVID-19, or better yet, not to provide them with more patients.
This means the Premier League is looking for the National Health Service (NHS) to give them the go-ahead before any English Premier League action is resumed.
The best-case scenario
If we’re looking into the domestic schedule’s future with optimism, then a best-case scenario projected would be to have clubs “pre-season” starting the 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th of May, which gives each club a four-week gap to regain their full fitness, possibly with a lesser gap of three of two weeks. If training is to start ¾ weeks before the weekend of 13th-14thJune, opening matches could see players training individually or subsequently in small groups to guarantee the best protection before squads were to work together per usual.
If the English Premier League was to restart on the 13th of June, it would give a seven-week period for the season to end. These are still nothing more than speculations at the moment, but plans are certainly underway. The EPL is more than aware of a worst-case scenario as-well-as the best we’ve discussed above.
The coronavirus pandemic has an unpredictability that the entire planet is dealing with. Defeatists are saying that football cannot resume until October 2020, but only time will tell.