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Premier League clubs vote on return to training

Players will return to training while maintaining social distancing.

Manchester United Training Session - Aon Training Complex Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images

In a move that is likely to cause consternation for club doctors, who have expressed serious reservations about the quick resumption of professional football, Premier League shareholders have today voted unanimously for the return to ‘small-group training’ from Tuesday afternoon. In practice, that means that squads will train ‘while maintaining social distancing’. The statement explicitly states that ‘contact training’ is not yet permitted.

How much this is going to practically achieve is unclear. In the cynical mind of The Busby Babe, the operative word is Premier League shareholders, who are increasingly antsy about the millions they face losing if the league season is not completed. The longer the delay, the more income they’re missing out on. That said, the statement claims that the return to training has ‘been agreed in consultation with players, managers, Premier League club doctors, independent experts and the Government.’

The Bundesliga returned in front of empty stadiums this weekend, and the Premier League will presumably be looking to try something similar in the near future. However, Germany have coped considerably better with the coronavirus outbreak than the UK, with a death toll smaller than a quarter of Britain’s.