Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a three-stage plan in the coming weeks to help the economy of England open up again. And, the first phase of this plan may include the return of football in the Premier League.
“This is not the time to simply end this week’s lockdown. Instead, we are taking the first careful steps to modify our measures,” Johnson said to the nation in an address. “We now need to stress that anyone who cannot work from home should be actively encouraged to go to work, for example those in construction or manufacturing.”
The group of people “who can’t work from home” would seem to include footballers. The first stage thus seems to pave the way for footballers to return to work, although the situation for sporting events remains unclear after the Prime Minister went on to say that people can “play sport even with their own household members.”
Like almost all other walks of life, football has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of nearly 32,000 people in the UK alone to date.
Premier League clubs however remain committed to finishing the season although it is understood that the bottom six of the league are opposed to plans to complete the campaign in neutral venues.
At present, Liverpool sits 25 points apart from their closest challengers and is only six points away from a 30-year first league title, while Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City sit in the relegation zone.
The Premier League has been working on ‘Project Restart’ measures to complete the 2019-20 season, which for most clubs only has nine matches left over.