Premier League clubs are going to cast their votes on May 27 regarding the return of contact training as the English top-flight seeks to get things rolling next month. New UK government guidelines that were issued on May 24 talked about resuming "close contact" training, including tackling, to help players return to form.
"This type of training would start with smaller 'clusters' of 2-3 athletes and eventually progress to larger groups of 4-12 athletes, and ultimately full team training," added the government advice.
Premier League clubs resumed training in small and socially distanced groups last week.
The players are being tested for coronavirus and the results of the tests, which was done on May 25 and are going to come out later today, will also be published on Wednesday.
Group Training in La Liga
La Liga clubs in Spain are now allowed to have 14 players training together. The Spanish league is aiming for a restart in three weeks.
Earlier last week, there were only 10 players in group training because of confinement restrictions which are gradually being lifted.
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Atletico Madrid winger Angel Correa said a return to football "is what we all need" ahead of La Liga’s restart in mid-June. League president Javier Tebas said he hopes the Spanish season can start on time with the Seville derby on June 11, after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchezf’s approval of La Liga’s return from June 8.
"With this crazy period that we are all living in, knowing that we will soon be playing again, resuming La Liga is an immense joy," Correa told the Atletico website after training on Monday.
"I think this is what we all need, for football to resume, and thank God, it will happen very quickly."
Risk of 2nd COVID-19 Wave
The head of the French footballs players’ union said European leagues that took the decision to end the season and restart play are doing so with the expectation that there will be no second wave of infections.
The French League (LFP) ended the Ligue 1 season on April 10 with 10 games remaining. Paris St Germain was declared as champions, which triggered criticism from several clubs.
Germany’s Bundesliga resumed behind closed doors, Spain’s La Liga has been given the green light to start from mid June and England’s Premier League is also going to restart as soon as the government guidelines confirm.
“We will see in the end if we are stupid,” Philippe Piat told French sports daily L’Equipe.
“It is true that if everybody restarts, the question can be asked (why not in France?). But I don’t know in which conditions they will be playing in Spain, if other countries have been as careful as we have been.” he added
Neville Warns of Financial 'Nightmare'
Salford City co-owner, English football coach and former player Gary Neville told Sky Sports that he fears clubs are facing a financial ‘nightmare’ due to the coronavirus crisis even though he is unsure of the number of clubs that might go out of business without spectators next season.
“I do think there will be clubs considering going into administration in the next three to four months, basically just to save themselves,” said Neville.
“It will be July, August, September, October where the real pressure comes,” he added. “Everybody’s looking down at their own feet and they’re not seeing the carnage that’s coming economically in the next three to four months.”
Meanwhile, Huddersfield owner Phil Hodgkinson told BBC Sports that around “50 or 60” clubs could go out of business if spectators are not permitted to attend fixtures next season.
"The problem is not whether we finish [this] season or not, it is what happens after that," Hodgkinson told BBC Sport.
"If we don't come to an agreement there will be no football pyramid. There are clubs I know of that are only still trading because they are deferring wages and [tax] and other creditors. They will need paying at some point," Hodgkinson said.
German FA Chief Calls for Salary Cap
German Football Association President Fritz Keller stated in a virtual address to the DFB's extraordinary meeting on May 25 that football should learn long-term lessons from the coronavirus crisis and maintain better financial controls along with player salary caps to keep fans on board.
"We have to learn from our mistakes, because the crisis is an opportunity to restructure football," Keller said.
"We need to bring professional football to the people, to their everyday world. So we need an improved financial control system and, yes, a salary cap," he added.
"Commissions for agents and immense transfer figures irritate society and estrange them from our beloved sport. Football has to offer satisfactory answers to these issues."
"We not only need new rules but also a new attitude," Keller said, further adding: "Not to think just from season to season as we painfully found out. Football as a whole has to live on long-term perspectives."
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