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Premier League clubs to hold training return vote on Monday

Sides could be training as early as Tuesday if the vote passes.

Premier League sides are preparing for 'Project Restart.'
Premier League sides are preparing for 'Project Restart.'
Image: PA News Agency

PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS will vote on a return to training on Monday after Raheem Sterling, Steve Bruce and Eva Carneiro warned against rushing back to action amid the coronavirus crisis.

English football has been suspended since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but ‘Project Restart’ is under way and shareholders will discuss the next steps in a conference call.

The focus of Monday’s meeting is set to be the vote on Premier League clubs’ return to training this week, starting with phase one of socially-distanced, small-group sessions.

The PA news agency understands around half of the league’s clubs underwent Covid-19 tests on Sunday ahead of a potential return to training, with the rest due to be checked on Monday morning.

Sides could be training as early as Tuesday if the vote passes, with the Premier League planning to test players twice a week, with 40 tests per session, as part of their plans to make a safe return to action.

It is understood the 1,600 weekly tests will be led by Prenetics as part of the ‘Project Screen by Circle’ initiative, with The Doctors Laboratory processing the tests – as they have been in the Bundesliga.

The German top-flight became the first major league to return to action over the weekend, but former Chelsea doctor Carneiro has warned football authorities against making a hasty return.

“My message to them is we cannot talk about returning to full-time competition when we haven’t even delivered phase one,” she told The Times.

Sides could be training as early as Tuesday if the vote passes, with the Premier League planning to test players twice a week, with 40 tests per session, as part of their plans to make a safe return to action.

It is understood the 1,600 weekly tests will be led by Prenetics as part of the ‘Project Screen by Circle’ initiative, with The Doctors Laboratory processing the tests – as they have been in the Bundesliga.

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The German top-flight became the first major league to return to action over the weekend, but former Chelsea doctor Carneiro has warned football authorities against making a hasty return.

“My message to them is we cannot talk about returning to full-time competition when we haven’t even delivered phase one,” she told The Times.

There remains plenty of questions to answer ahead of a potential return to Premier League action and Manchester City forward Sterling has cast doubt over the hoped-for date of 12 June.

Speaking in an interview with United States women’s captain Megan Rapinoe on his Youtube channel, Sterling said: “You can’t come back in with one-and-a-half or two weeks (of training).

“You’d need a full four to five weeks, especially if you’re going to go back into competition, when you’re literally paid to win. You do need to do that preparation – you can’t just go straight in.”

Newcastle manager Bruce says starting before the end of June is simply not viable, insisting an earlier start would see them “fall down like a pack of cards”.

“We’ve listened to what has been said and, with the precautions taken, we will get back to work and start phase one,” Bruce said in the Sunday Telegraph.

“Can we get to that stage where we can have all the players on the pitch together? We don’t know yet.

“Phase one will be mainly fitness work, four or five players on a pitch. Let’s see how we get on.

“You have to remember that they have had eight weeks off and that is probably the longest break some of these players have had in their careers.

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