Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’

Premier League returns

The Premier League has outlined plans to have the resumption of games to see off the 2019/20 season ahead of a crucial shareholders’ meeting on Friday.

In a plan dubbed ‘Project Restart’, Premier League Management is hoping to finally resume the season.

The remaining 92 fixtures, including the FA Cup, are set to be played behind closed doors and in neutral venues and hubs.

The management hopes that the season can be concluded by end of July.

Premier League was suspended in March 13 when Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta was diagnosed positive of the coronavirus. Chelsea Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi was also diagnosed with the disease hours later.

The vast majority of sport across the world has come to a standstill in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but there is a belief among Premier League chiefs that they can begin to safely host games again in less than six weeks.

Premier League’s Project Restart is hinged on the following key factors:

The Fixtures

There are a total of 92 Premier League games that remain in this calendar. It is believed that the games will be played from the week beginning June 8 when the games resume and could be completed by July 27.

FA Cup Quarter Finals
The period would also give time for the conclusion of the FA Cup that was heading to the last-16

The Government

The British Government has urged Premier League Management to hasten plans of resuming as it hopes this will offer the nation some relief and hope.

According to The Times, the government is pushing the Premier League to return as this will offer the nation a positive feel and reduce the anxiety and stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Training

Arsenal became the first top-flight club to return to their training ground on Monday after 47 days of isolation in the wake of Arteta’s positive coronavirus test.

Each member of the Gunners squad had a pitch to themselves at London Colney in order to follow the strict social distancing guidelines which remain in place.

Their return to work was voluntary but most of the squad turned up. Players have to travel alone and only five are allowed to train at one time.

The training is supposed to be done in line with the government’s directives on social distancing

Other Clubs will be looking forward to welcoming back their players in the coming days as they prepare for the resumption of games.

Manchester City’s Ederson, Fernandinho, Rodri, Bernardo Silva, and David Silva are all abroad and will be required to quarantine for fourteen days in line with UK’s measures in dealing with the pandemic.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo is in his home country of Portugal, as are some of his players, while Norwich boss Daniel Farke and Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl are also abroad.

Testing for Coronavirus

Medical chiefs from each of the Premier League’s 20 clubs held a video conference call on Saturday when it was decided that players and essential staff should be tested for Covid-19 twice a week for the duration of the season.

Venue for Games

Clubs would prefer to host games in Premier League stadiums, but it is understood they could be convinced to play at club training grounds and neutral venues such as England’s base, St George’s Park.

Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium could be used as a neutral hub for Premier League matches

Maintenance of Safety and Health

It is believed that some measures will be imposed as a necessary precaution to contracting of the virus. Customary shaking of hands before the match will be mooted, sterilizing the ball before the games as well as banning of spitting during the game.

Premier League clubs are said to be fronting an idea of having the use of five substitutes in each game as a means to protect players from burn-out and injuries with players returning from a long lay-off into a packed schedule.