EPL teams ap­prove con­tact train­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER, ENG­LAND (AP):

THE PREMIER League is on course to restart next month af­ter clubs ap­proved plans yes­ter­day to re­sume con­tact train­ing, even as some play­ers are con­cerned about tak­ing to the field again dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

The vote by the 20 clubs came af­ter gain­ing clear­ance from the govern­ment for play­ers to work to­gether as a squad as re­stric­tions are eased across Eng­land.

Play­ers and staff mem­bers at clubs are be­ing checked twice a week for COVID-19. Four peo­ple from three clubs tested pos­i­tive from tests on 1,008 play­ers and staff on Mon­day and Tues­day.

The clubs will hold an­other con­fer­ence call to­day to dis­cuss plans to re­sume the sea­son in the sec­ond half of June, in­clud­ing the sched­ul­ing of games that will all be closed to fans. The lo­ca­tion of matches is still to be re­solved af­ter clubs re­jected pro­pos­als for all fix­tures to be played in neu­tral venues.

RE­FUND­ING BROAD­CAST­ERS

Clubs are also dis­cussing the po­ten­tial need to re­fund broad­cast­ers $400 mil­lion be­cause of the dis­rup­tion to the sea­son and changes to the prod­uct if the league re­sumes.

There are still con­tin­gen­cies be­ing for­mu­lated if there is a need to aban­don the sea­son, which was sus­pended in March with Liver­pool lead­ing by 25 points with nine games re­main­ing.

For now, the teams are try­ing to get the play­ers match fit af­ter an un­prece­dented time away from the sport.

Af­ter work­ing in smaller groups and avoid­ing con­tact since train­ing re­sumed last week, play­ers can now en­ter the next phase to step up prepa­ra­tions for games. The pro­to­cols still ac­knowl­edge the so­cial dis­tanc­ing re­quired in wider so­ci­ety.

AP

In this Sun­day, May 6, 2018 file photo, the English Premier League tro­phy is dis­played on the pitch prior to the English Premier League match between Manch­ester City and Hud­der­s­field Town at Eti­had sta­dium in Manch­ester, Eng­land.

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