Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters has said the 20 clubs are united in their desire to get the 2019/20 season back up and running. Players and managers will have an important role in that return.
“In today’s meeting, it was reiterated the Premier League and clubs absolutely recognize the COVID-19 pandemic puts football into context,” Masters said. “So many lives have been lost and so many others deeply affected.
“We are proud at the response to the pandemic that the Premier League, our clubs and our players have provided with vital support to communities and to the NHS and hopefully will continue to do so after matches recommence.”
During the meeting the UK Government signaled the possibility of a return of live sports from 1 June, following on from its announcement on the easing of the lockdown in England.
Safety comes first
“We welcome these first steps and are ready to play our part,” he said. “We are working flat out with clubs and stakeholders – Government, our broadcast partners, The FA, the EFL, PFA and the LMA – to create a responsible, safe and deliverable model to complete the season.
Of course, safety comes first. We must listen to Government, the authorities and the medical experts and continue to follow their advice.
That is exactly what we are doing. We are getting ourselves in the best position to resume the season, but only when the conditions are right.”
Collective way forward
Masters said today’s meeting of clubs showed all 20 were united in looking to complete the season.
“There was a strong desire to discuss everything in the round and to agree a collective way forward,” he said. “A really strong collective will to complete the season remains.”
In so doing, Masters reiterated that consulting the players and managers is vital.
“Our priority will always be the safety of players, coaches and managers, staff, supporters, and the wider community,” he said.
“Nothing will be agreed until we have spoken to both the managers and players.”