Premier League Players Abroad Told to Return as Restart Edges Closer

Those players in England's top flight who are currently abroad have been asked to return to the country by Tuesday, 5 May, as clubs begin to prepare for the season to restart, while the Premier League are also facing a £4m bill for coronavirus testing kits for 'essential' players and staff.

Due to current coronavirus pandemic, the country has been on lockdown for several weeks, while football has also been halted since mid-March. The return of football in England has been the topic of much discussion, with it being declared that the campaign can only restart when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

UK In Fifth Week Of Coronavirus Lockdown

Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol has now provided an update on clubs' plans moving forward. The reporter has revealed that 'some' Premier League footballers, who are currently abroad, have been told to come back by Tuesday 5 May - if it's safe and possible to do so. Solhekol considers this return date to be significant as the UK government plan on providing an update on lockdown restrictions just 48 hours later.

The government is reportedly keen for football to return as soon as possible to boost the morale of the public at this testing time.

And should certain measures be relaxed, this could see some players returning to training. Moreover, the issue of hygiene and social distancing is continuing to be raised, but Solhekol adds that even the footballs that will be used when training resumes will be sterilised.

This news comes after Arsenal announced they would open their training ground to players on Monday, with social distancing measures still being applied. West Ham have also opened their training ground, but a strict one-in-one-out policy has been applied.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail report that the Premier League are facing a huge £4m bill for coronavirus testing as the resumption of the season edges closer. In a meeting between all medical officers from the 20 top-flight clubs on Saturday, it was decided that all essential players and staff will be tested for the coronavirus twice a week for the duration of the season - starting when group training recommences.

Furthermore, the report adds that this will be discussed and potentially 'rubber-stamped' at the Premier League shareholders' meeting on Friday.

It is noted that a testing kit costs roughly £150 and while clubs will interpret members who are 'essential' differently, it is believed that clubs will provide up to 50 tests twice a week. This would cost a combined £300,000 for all clubs. However, the Daily Mail explain that clubs are 'hopeful' of resuming group training by mid-May, with staff beginning to be told that they expect the season to restart on 13 June and end towards the end of July - meaning the total cost could reach £4m.

But while the Premier League do plan on footing the bill, 'a number' of medical officers are concerned by this initiative as many believe these testing kits should be saved for key healthcare workers.

Source : 90min