Premier League shareholders voted unanimously Monday to allow clubs to return to training in small groups starting on Tuesday. The move is the first on-field step to potentially resuming the season in June. With play suspended for two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League has maintained its stance on returning to the field as soon as it is deemed safe.
France’s Ligue 1 had its season called off, while Germany’s Bundesliga returned to the field on Saturday. Spain’s La Liga continued training on Monday by allowing 10-14 player groups.
Here’s what the Premier League said in its announcement:
Step One of the Return to Training Protocol enables squads to train while maintaining social distancing. Contact training is not yet permitted.
This first stage has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, Premier League club doctors, independent experts and the Government.
Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible.
The health and well-being of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.
Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.
The Bundesliga and La Liga both started with similar training protocols and were able to expand on them after a couple weeks. Monday’s developments are far from a conclusion that the league will return, but it’s a step in the right direction. Last week, the U.K. government gave the league the green light to start playing again in June.
The Premier League has 92 games remaining this season with Liverpool leading by 25 points over Manchester City.