Premier League reiterates desire to finish 2019-20 season amid coronavirus shutdown

Goal.com

The Premier League has reiterated its desire to complete the 2019-20 season, which has been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The league's clubs met on Friday to discuss steps forward, but said that no decisions were made during the meeting and that nothing would happen without government approval. 

"At a meeting of Premier League Shareholders today, clubs discussed possible steps towards planning to resume the 2019-20 season, when it is safe and appropriate to do so," a statement read.

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"It was reiterated that the thoughts of all are with those directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Furthermore, the Premier League’s priority is the health and safety of players, coaches, managers, club staff, supporters and the wider community.

"The League and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with Government guidance, under expert medical advice and after consultation with players and managers.

"The League welcomed the creation of the Government medical working group for a return of elite sport, which met for the first time this morning.

"No decisions were taken at today’s Shareholders’ meeting and clubs exchanged views on the information provided regarding 'Project Restart'.

"It was agreed that the PFA, LMA, players and managers are key to this process and will be further consulted.

"The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019-20 season, maintaining integrity of the competition and welcomed the Government’s support."

On Thursday the Premier League's guidelines for "Project Restart" were revealed, with the league targeting a potential June 8 return.

Among the guidelines to follow, players will be required to wear face masks at training grounds and all equipment, including footballs, will be disinfected before and after use.

Following the recent cancellation of top-flight seasons in France and the Netherlands, there has been increased speculation that the Premier League could be forced to do the same.

Gary Neville called out the Premier League earlier this week, saying that the league's attempts to return to the field were prioritising money over player safety.

Additionally on Friday, the English Football League confirmed that the Academy Games Programme for the 2019-20 season has been terminated.

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