Clubs in the English Premier League (EPL) hope to give their players the approval to return to training in small groups this week.

However, there are mixed feelings on the intended June 12th date for matches to commence again. 

The 20 top-flight clubs are set to hold a crucial meeting next week Monday to vote on training and medical protocols. If passed, players would be permitted to train in groups of five from Tuesday.

However, the players would be mandated to observe social distancing and adhere to a series of strict criteria which includes getting dressed at home and driving to training grounds on their own.

At least 14 of the 20 clubs must agree that safety protocols are sufficient for the plan to be approved.

Last week, the Government said it had "opened the door" for the return of elite sport, but several hurdles remain before the Premier League can resume behind closed doors.

Several Clubs have been carrying out coronavirus testing this weekend to ensure there is no further delay, but a number of players - including Newcastle United defender Danny Rose and Watford skipper Troy Deeney - have expressed concerns about returning back to the pitch

Players have been asked to sign agreements and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has offered to get the agreements legally checked if anyone is uncertain.

Club officials have been holding high-level meetings because the legal liability for any player who became seriously ill would fall on them.

It is expected that a three-step return to action will be implemented. It is hoped to move into the second phase at the beginning of June, which would involve training in larger groups, before a return to contact training.

At the meeting on Monday, clubs will also be updated on talks with police and safety committees over the request to play matches at their home grounds rather than at neutral grounds, as initially proposed.

They will also receive a report on the return of the German Bundesliga and will have been gladdened to learn there were no instances of fans turning up at stadiums in significant numbers.

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling disclosed on Sunday that players would need a "full four to five weeks" of training before returning to competition.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce had earlier told the Sunday Telegraph the timescale was "at least six weeks", adding: "I don't see how we can play games until the back end of June."

The Premier League is thought to be relaxed, viewing the restart as more important than the actual date.



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