It is truly all systems go for the Premier League restart, as the UK government has allowed elite sport to return from June 1.
The Premier League announced earlier this week that they plan to restart the 2019-20 season on June 17 in empty stadiums, as long as it was safe to do so.
Now that the UK government say that elite sports can begin again from Monday, the Premier League have the ultimate green light to restart games.
The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, confirmed the news on Saturday.
“The wait is over. Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments,” Dowden said. “This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors. It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart. This is a significant moment for British sport. By working with clinicians every step of the way, we are creating the safest possible environments for everyone involved.”
As well as the Premier League returning, horse racing, rugby, tennis, cricket and golf will also return to the UK in empty stadiums.
That means a host of sporting events planned for the summer can now go ahead and the Premier League is at the forefront of the sporting landscape in the UK.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was understandably delighted about the announcement.
“The Premier League welcomes the Government’s announcement today,” Masters said. “All major sports, including the Premier League, have been working together with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to produce this Stage Three protocol. We could not have reached this point without the full support of the Government, especially DCMS, Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer’s team.
“We have provisionally planned to restart the Premier League on 17 June, but there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This includes consulting with our clubs, players and managers – along with all our other stakeholders – as the health and welfare of our participants and supporters is our priority. If all goes well, we will be thrilled to resume the 2019/20 season in just over two weeks’ time.”
As long as the COVID-19 cases in the UK do not surge and clubs can keep positive tests to a minimum among players and staff, there are no more obstacles in the 2019-20 season restarting as planned on June 17.
There are still issues around certain games being played in neutral stadiums but talks are ongoing between the Premier League, its clubs and local police forces about trying to play all of the remaining 92 games as planned at home stadiums.
The UK government have rubber stamped the plan for sports to return and now it is up to the Premier League and other sports leagues to obey the strict protocols to resume action.