The Premier League are tonight reported to be at an advanced stage in talks with the Government over a return for football in June.
According to the Mirror at https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/premier-league-advanced-talks-government-21817712?fbclid=IwAR2wG40xaMZWCQ6W5T4KkqJGgg6vNiUfZx1zWsgzFHlH4_P9cRtNTc8P4qQ there is already a tentative agreement for the top flight to resume behind closed doors after the 20 clubs mapped out a plan with senior officials on a resumption of matches.
With the peak of the current problems expected over the next couple of weeks the Mirror claims Government health officials will sanction games.
The newspaper claims the plan was discussed at length, with an accord reached in principle on a finish to the Premier League season should the situation improve as expected.
The plan – which has been discussed at the highest level – would see games played under strictly-controlled conditions behind closed doors.
League officials have also discussed extensive measures to keep the players in a sterile environment as much as possible, limiting contact with the wider public.
Sky and BT have rights to show some of the remaining fixtures but not a capacity to show all, and discussions have centred on a free-to-air agreement that will allow far more to be screened.
At present, the plan presented to the Government is in extensive form, with details to be fully thrashed out as the situation in the UK improves in the coming months.
While officials have offered tentative agreement, the Premier League is in no doubt that should the situation get worse in the UK over the next six weeks, a return would have to be delayed further.
But health officials have stated confidently that they believe a peak is close, and that distancing measures imposed on the public will begin to have an impact on the number of cases in the UK and the subsequent number of deaths.
Government sources have suggested things will improve by the middle of April, and there has even been talk in some quarters of games being allowed to take place in front of supporters if the situation improves dramatically.
The Premier League plan, though, has stuck firmly to discussions about behind closed doors games only, and that is the outline that has been given a tentative green light.
ClaretandHugh says: This is decent news on the face of it with Government, the Premier League and health officials seemingly covering all the bases. It has been known for some time that the peak is now close with the next 10 days to two weeks the period when things will becoming somewhat dramatic. But the situation in other countries shows that the 12 weeks initially put on the problems by the UK Government looks about right and as we reported some weeks back when the first restrictions were put in place that would take Britain to around June 8 before the country started returning to some sort of normality. Obviously nothing is predictable with this situation but it would have been a surprise if this sort of plan hadn’t been put in place. Now it’s a case of watching and hoping as we pass through the worst of this horrible situation.