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Reports: PL the priority as TV sports return planned

According to reports this morning the Prime Minister has been briefed for the return of televised behind closed doors football ‘within weeks’.

The Sun claims Mr Johnson sees the resumption of live sport as key to boosting the morale of the nation after weeks of lockdown.

The story is repeated by the Mail and it says that other football leagues,  cricket, tennis and horse racing could also resume under the extensive proposals which are due to be thrashed out between ministers, officials from Public Health England and other sporting bodies.

The report maintains however that the priority remains to restart and complete the Premier League season to allow the transfer window.

And  The Times, adds the PL are planning to stage games behind closed-doors at ‘approved stadiums’ when the Government grants permission.

It has also been reported that the EFL will start later than the Premier League because of the added logistical and financial challenges. But the priority is completing the Premier League season so the transfer window can open

The Times claims a cross-sport group is working with the Government on behalf of all professional sports aiming to return to action.

The Government would first have to allegedly meet its five restart tests, which include cutting both death and infection rates before plans for the resumption of sport can be implemented.

And each sport would also allegedly have to comply with an uncompromising set of criteria, which involve making sure social distancing is maintained and keeping everyone involved safe from possible  infection.

Participants in the various sports would also reportedly have to undergo regular testing, which will have to be paid for by clubs or the sport’s chiefs in order to prevent essential workers from being blocked.

It is hoped that with transfers occurring money would then start to trickle down the pyramid

The Government’s next review of the lockdown is due on Thursday, May 7.

The news comes amid concerns of people gathering together to watch sport following Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden appeal to the Premier League to consider streaming matches on terrestrial channels.

There are fears that should the games only be available on Sky Sports and BT Sport, people will be tempted to go round a friend’s house to watch the matches.

Extended highlights are therefore being considered, while it is also possible clubs could be given permission to show games on their official websites.

Sportsmail has since revealed that both broadcasters will resist pressure to screen for free the 47 Premier League matches they have left this season.

Clubs may also be forced to pay for players being regularly tested as to not block key workers

Returns for tennis, cricket and snooker could come at an earlier date than football due to officials’ belief that social distancing could be maintained more easily.

ClaretandHugh says: Once again a story with plenty of ifs and buts. However there seems little doubt from these new reports that the whole issue of TV sport has been on the agenda within government for several weeks. Our reading of this is that “other sports” as mentioned in the story are indeed more likely to get underway before football. horse racing continued for a while after football ahead of lock down and far fewer problems exist with cricket. However, there does seem an absolute determination to get the Premier League underway at some point and another suggestion has been that players will be told to wear masks or  not touch their faces which seems a very big ask indeed. The truth is that no option is being left uncovered in these reports and the reality is that everything remaons in the Government’s court and all speculation will remain on hold until May 7 regardless.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

4 comments on “Reports: PL the priority as TV sports return planned

  1. Money is more important than lives then to the people who run the game . I said weeks ago that these people don’t ” get it ” And they still don’t.

  2. It is an absolute joke, at the player level I am not sure they are happy at the thought of exposing their young families to a virus. Cresswell confirmed this a few weeks ago for example

    What happens if one player gets the virus? It means the teams they play for will have to self isolate, the team they have recently played and the maybe even the team from the week before and possibly the teams thy have played as well. . Another two weeks of no games and then another two weeks of training after this, 30th June gone.

    It is pathetic to be honest, we all need to move to next season whenever that can start. safely. Promote Leeds and WBA and 4 down for next two seasons.

    I agree with Peter, that money is the driver and it is the owners of clubs and Sky and some of their moron pundits, BT etc who are driving this.

  3. For heaven’s sake , why can’t they just let it go ?. , obviously money is in the mix and not risks to Human life. . Wearing masks whilst running about playing football ! . The game would be played at a snails pace with players keeping their distance . A complete waste of time and energy . Please just call it a day and prepare for next season when things Will hopefully have quietened down . They should be taking about how to end this season today and not how to restart it .

  4. Absolutely disgraceful inyopinion if it happens. A complete farce.Never mind the virus football appears far more important.

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