Football made its return over the weekend with the Bundesliga the first to resume play as that country looks to slowly return to something resembling normal while still managing and mitigating the ongoing threat of coronavirus.
For fans, it was a chance to enjoy watching again—perhaps with a little trepidation, and certainly with the acknowledgement that games without fans and behind closed doors makes for a rather unusual viewing experience.
For some, though, those involved now in working towards a return for football in England and elsewhere, the focus will have been on the logistics. And in England, the target for that return remains mid-June. A month from now.
“We are working hard with them to try and get it back, aiming for mid-June, but the number one test if public safety,” government culture secretary Oliver Dowden told The Mirror today when asked about the Premier League’s return.
“We’re looking at returning behind closed doors, have met with Public Health England several times to look at the safety. If we can sort that out then we will look to resume by mid-June. We’re making good progress.”
At the moment, the unconfirmed belief is that the league and government are targeting a June 19th return—pushed back a week from the original June 12th target in order to give teams a full month of training ahead of it.
To achieve that, players are expected to return to training this week, and some coaches and support staff—including Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp—have been at their clubs’ training facilities since late last week preparing for that.