Premier League clubs have agreed to return to small-group training as a vote held on Monday was unanimous and showed how determined PL clubs are to finish the 2019-20 season.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
‘Project Restart’ has officially moved one step closer to becoming a reality.
The return to training will take place from Tuesday, as groups of five players at a time will take part in sessions while observing social-distancing in Phase One of the return to training protocol.
Contact training will not return at this point but this is a big step forward, as players will return to training grounds together for the first time since the Premier League was suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There have been concerns raised by Premier League players and managers during talks with the league about their welfare, but clubs have voted in favor after medical experts and government officials were involved in the planning for its return.
It is believed the season could return as early as June 12 but reports state that date could be pushed back a week or so in order to give players ample time to regain full fitness before the final nine games of the season begin.
Here’s a look at some of the reaction from players, managers, key figures and clubs across the Premier League as from tomorrow afternoon some players will be heading back to work together for the first time in over two months.
Everton – “Carlo Ancelotti and his squad will begin to report back for small group training on Wednesday, May 20. Coaching staff and players last trained at the Club’s USM Finch Farm base on March 12.”
Crystal Palace winger Andros Townsend – “We’ve been quite lucky at Crystal Palace, the doctor, the manager and chairman have all been transparent, we’ve had regular Zoom conference calls and laid everything on the table. I have no doubt that if I am returning tomorrow morning, I am probably returning to the safest workplace in the country at the minute.”
West Ham – “Our first team squad will step up to small group training on Tuesday 19 May after the Premier League today confirmed the agreed requirements.”
Leicester City players reported individually to Belvoir Drive on Monday to undergo the Premier League’s COVID Antigen Testing (CAT) for the first time, before continuing the individual fitness work permitted under previous guidance.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 18, 2020
The Wolves squad will return to small group training tomorrow, while maintaining social distancing.
Full @PremierLeague statement on the Return to Training Protocol.
— Wolves (@Wolves) May 18, 2020
🗣️ "It's been a difficult time, but I hope with the news that phase one is about to start – and I must stress that phase one looks as if it's as safe as it can be – I'm sure everyone will be delighted that we're trying to make that effort."
Steve Bruce speaks to NUFC TV. #NUFC pic.twitter.com/i3kjLaHjrd
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) May 18, 2020
Premier League shareholders have voted unanimously to return to small group training tomorrow.
The ‘unanimous’ aspect is key. There are still major details to iron out, but it’s an indicator that the will to return is there in all 20 clubs 👍#ProjectRestart
— Arlo White (@arlowhite) May 18, 2020