The EPL is set to allow clubs to resume training in small groups after a statement released by the shareholders on Monday afternoon. The past few weeks have seen regular discussions with several opinions being voiced for the EPL season to resume.
The EPL has released a detailed statement after the shareholders meeting, explaining the guidelines and protocols to be following ahead of a successful restart. A number of EPL clubs have been ensuring that their players improve their fitness levels by using instructional videos and maintaining regular communication.
EPL committee releases training protocol, introduces social distancing
The press release also includes new guidelines to ensure the safety of the players and the training staff. The EPL governing body permits players to train in small groups, provided they implement no-contact training and maintain social distancing.
"Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small-group training from tomorrow afternoon, the first step towards restarting the Premier League, when safe to do so."
"Step One of the Return to Training Protocol enables squads to train while maintaining social distancing. Contact training is not yet permitted."
The statement released by the EPL also mentions that doctors, managers, and experts were included in the discussion.
"The first stage has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, club doctors, independent experts, and the Government."
"Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible."
The decision is clearly a statement of intent from the EPL as it looks to initiate a transition to normalcy and bring football back to the stadiums of England.
While the new guidelines are strict, they have been devised in the best interests of the players and technical staff involved. The policy of no-contact training will guarantee the safety and health of the players while also ensuring that they regain their match fitness.
The EPL was last seen in action on the 8th of March. Several players have since been isolating themselves at home and contributing to the bigger battle that the world faces at the moment.
EPL players and managers have also used the time to introspect and focus on specific areas of the game to ensure that no time goes to waste.
The Bundesliga successfully implemented a restart to the German football season over the weekend and saw some exhilarating performances from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. It is only a matter of time before the rest of the European leagues, including the EPL, follow suit. The shareholders' press release is a step in the right direction.
The likes of Arsene Wenger and Gary Lineker also believe that steps should be implemented to complete the EPL season. The weeks that follow could see a string of important decisions based on the success of step one of the training protocol.
While fans of the game can only wait and watch, it is becoming increasingly evident that a restart to the 2019-20 EPL season is ever so close.