The Premier League could return as early as June 1 under new government guidelines.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson lined out the United Kingdom’s plan to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday evening, indicating that cultural and social events could return in the summer.
The news left it unclear whether the Premier League would be able to return alongside industries such as construction this month, but the sport has been given new levels of clarity on Monday.
The Telegraph reported: “Sporting events can return behind closed doors from June but fans are unlikely to be allowed in until ‘significantly later.'”
Meanwhile, James Olley from ESPN quoted Downing Street as saying ‘organisations should prepare accordingly’ for the government to start ‘permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast.’
Less than a month until football?
Of course, this does mean that the Premier League will be absent from our screens until at least next month, which may come as a disappointment as the Bundesliga makes a comeback this weekend.
One-on-one sports such as tennis and golf are much more likely to return to the UK much sooner than football.
Nevertheless, the news will come as a huge relief to the much-discussed ‘Project Restart’, which hopes to get the world’s most competitive league back in action as soon as possible.
Still things to iron out
But with disputes over plans to hold games in neutral venues, there are plenty of discussions to be had before all 20 teams potentially take to the pitch next month.
That, and the fact certain players have highlighted their worries about returning to action too soon, especially after news that three Brighton & Hove Albion players have tested positive for the virus.
Sergio Aguero is one such player, telling Argentinian TV station El Chiringuito: “The majority of players are scared because they have children and families.
“I’m scared but I’m with my girlfriend here and I’m not going to be in contact with other people. I’m locked in my house and the only person I could infect is my girlfriend.
“They’re saying that there are people that have it and don’t have any symptoms but still infect you. That’s why I am here at home. Maybe I have the illness and I don’t even know.
“When one person is ill we will think ‘oh what’s happening here?’ I hope a vaccine will be found soon so that this all ends.”