Not quite yet though, however, the English Premier League (EPL) has been given the go ahead to officially restart on June 17. The United Kingdom has been one of the countries hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic currently recording the second highest number of deaths globally, but like in other countries the population is finally adapting to the situation and the restrictions are gradually been lifted including continuing only the EPL for now behind closed doors.
When the league finally restarts it will be more than 3 months since the last official game on English soil, the wait is palpable for everyone involved as the clubs gear towards the restart. It has not been all plain sailing though, the Premier League officials have put in place several measures to ensure the successful resumption of the league. By the start of May, they approved non-contact training for all clubs which required players arrive in their training kits from home as well as not using the dressing rooms, equipment or facilities. On May 17, they started conducting tests for all players and staffs of the 20 clubs and as of this moment five different batches of tests have since been carried out producing varying results.
The fourth batch of tests produced no positive results while the fifth one conducted 2 days ago produced a single positive results, the person who is from Tottenham Hotspurs has been instructed to immediately self-isolate for 7 days and this will also be the case with any future positive results from tests which will be conducted on all the players and staff twice a week until the resumption of the league. Since May 27, all clubs have resumed full contact training as the clubs build up momentum for the restart. The EPL has also granted the clubs the possibility of playing friendly matches before the restart amidst strict regulations which will have to be followed to the latter while when the league restarts all clubs will also be allowed to make 5 substitutions within 3 stoppages including the half-time break to permit the players cope with the strain of having to play a lot of matches within a short space of time with little or no match fitness.
The clubs have found themselves in unchartered waters during the past months and most of them just want the league to be concluded as soon as possible so they can focus on what the future might hold after the pandemic. During the lockdown, all of them sent individual training plans to their players which the club’s staff supervised and followed up the results through video calls to ensure the players remained in shape. The players are back to full training now so the club have to make the best of the little time they have left before the June 17 kick-off.
The league title is all but decided with Liverpool needing just two more wins to wrap up the league, but there is still a lot of drama when it comes to deciding the Champions league and the Europa league spots. Not forgetting the relegation battle where just 8 points is separating the bottom 6 sides with 27 points still left to play for.
The stage is gradually getting set for the return of the most watched league in the world, let’s get ready for some box office entertainment despite the absence of fans.