Premier League chief executive Richard Masters says the league is “as confident as we can be” about a June return from the coronavirus pandemic to the playing fields of England.
Speaking to the BBC’s Dan Roan, Masters said that the league is following all protocols to make a return safe and that there is “optimism” that fans could attend matches at some point next season.
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While acknowledging that curtailing the season is still a possibility, Masters stressed that the clubs would not have players back on the training ground if they were as soon as possible that a return to matches this season was possible.
“We wouldn’t have taken the first step to get back to training if we weren’t convinced we had created a very safe environment for our players,” he said. “It is the first step and we have to be sure when we go to contact training we have completed those processes.”
He said he would be confident enough to return to a training pitch, but respects players who will stay away from the game due to the pandemic.
Masters also told the BBC that he’s confident they can run a successful to keep fans away from stadia, even if Liverpool is set to win its first ever title at Anfield.
“We’re talking to the authorities about that,” he added. “I do believe we can appeal to fans not to congregate outside football grounds or go to other people’s houses to watch football matches in contravention of government guidelines.”