MANCHESTER, May 19: The Premier League has been told by government experts that coronavirus restrictions could endure for at least a year across English football, with players allowed to resume only non-contact training from Tuesday.
England�s top division has been studying how the Bundesliga was able to resume at the weekend while being realistic about missing its aspiration of getting back underway by June 12.
We have to be flexible about it, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in a media call on Monday.
�The Germans are a couple of steps ahead of us obviously and we can learn from them and watch them and take confidence from their success.�
Team executives will hold talks next Tuesday to discuss protocols for allowing players to take part in contact training, but it is dependent on government approval and there being no new spike in COVID-19 cases after an easing of lockdown restrictions.
�(Once) we have had a proper discussion with clubs about how much is required to create the fitness levels before they can start playing, we are then in a position to be able to confirm when the season start is,� Masters said.
The 20 clubs on Monday agreed to protocols for small groups of players to train while maintaining social distancing that exists in wider society. Inspectors will drop into training complexes to check the rules are being followed.
�That will enable us to give everyone confidence that the protocols are being complied with, and give the public confidence that we are trying to create a very safe working environment,� said Richard Garlick, the league�s director of football.
�We can request information from videoing of the sessions and GPS data, too.� The protocols have been formed in conjunction with the government, which has cautioned a COVID-19 vaccine may not be developed at all, despite the huge global effort to produce one.
�They�ve made it very clear that the social situation, the public health situation is not going to change over the next six to 12 months,� Premier League medical adviser Mark Gillett said.
�We�re going to be looking to make the same kind of cultural changes at training grounds and in footballers� behaviours whether we have this conversation now or at any point this year. It is important that people understand that.�
Regular testing of players, coaches and support staff is the league�s way of trying to quickly detect any infections and stop the virus spreading at clubs. Testing is due to take place twice weekly at clubs on up to 40 people.
Training will be allowed to begin on Tuesday once the results of the first set of results are delivered on Tuesday. � AP