Premier League clubs have drawn up plans for a more formalised return to training and matches, as confidence grows that football can come back by mid-June.
The Independent reported at the end of March that the primary idea was for squads to be sequestered to isolated camps for behind-closed-doors games over the summer, and concrete proposals for that have accelerated in the last week as the government has again warmed to the possibility of football returning.
That shift has naturally come because of the curve starting to flatten in the UK, but has also made everyone in the game all too aware that any plans are entirely dependent on the development of the coronavirus crisis.
Despite that, Premier League clubs have firmed up schedules and approaches to return to playing. The Independent has been told that some squads have even been briefed on plans.
The majority view among the actual players is to get back on the pitch.
This mood runs alongside the new confidence within the sport that they can get back playing by mid-June.
Even if the situation continues to improve, a return is still fraught with logistical complications – not least as regards the very organisation of fixtures. Some clubs in relegation trouble may have to play more games away from home, especially given the unsuitability of certain stadiums to the expected guidelines.
It is understood most clubs are expected to waive this, though, because they want to get back to playing. Research within football indicates that as many as four Premier League clubs could go into administration if the postponement goes on past the summer.
Much of this is set to be discussed at Friday’s latest meeting.
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