According to the Football Association chairman Greg Clarke, ̏it will be hard to see fans returning to matches any time soon ̋. In case the Premier League and Football League seasons get to resume it will be made behind closed doors and most probably with no fans. Clarke also said that there will be an FA budget cut of £75m this year with a possible worst case scenario of a £300m deficit over the next four years in every area of the game.
What is Project Restart?
In response to COVID-19, the Premier League was suspended in 13 March but all clubs are looking forward to playing the 92 remaining encounters of the 2019-2020 season as soon as they can do so. All plans to restart and finish the League have been named ̏Project Restart ̋. The league is hopefully waiting they can start again in 8 June and finish at the end of July. An intense training is required in order to begin by 18 May.
In order to resume the league, in case the games behind doors are approved, the participants will need up to 40 000 tests in addition to the neutral venues. However, the BBC has understood that there are disagreements among the clubs since six or seven of them could be opposed to neutral stadiums even if 14 out of 20 clubs are needed to vote in favor for the neutral stadium proposal to pass.
What happens with players returning to training?
Individual training was reapproved by several clubs so they reopened their training grounds. They state full training could be resumed even under the strictest distancing rules, that way there will be tests to be applied to every player twice a week and they will be checked for symptoms every day. Moreover, players will be required to arrive at training grounds wearing masks all the time and they will be asked to take all sanitarian measures.
How have players reacted?
While many players would like to return to the training fields many others have given the most negative opinions about the idea. Many are scared and fearing for their families, ̏ I don't think people are afraid for themselves but for their families ̋, expressed Kevin de Bruyne. For Glenn Murray, some measures that will be taken for the Premier League to return are nothing more than farcical.
What do clubs say?
In fact, the truth is that there are only a few clubs that have spoken publicly and there are divergent opinions regarding the topic. Steve Parish, Crystal Palace chairman, expressed that the measures announced for the League to return to the training ground will make of the Premier League football, one of the safest places in society to co-exist. In Sunday Times he added that the current situation living the world could last for months and that it could have huge affectations for next season, ̏the more we can work out now, the better chance we have of coming out of this with the game we all love in position to recover over time ̋. On the other hand, Martin Semmens, Southampton chief executive, told BBC that it is not correct for the Premier League to be already planning to return.