Liverpool’s players will be returning to Melwood this week after Premier League clubs met today and agreed to take the first concrete steps towards the hoped-for mid-June return to action behind closed with players returning to team training this week.
At the start, or Phase One, that training will be entirely non-contact, with returning players expected to maintain social distancing at all times. This will likely limit teams to cardio work and certain passing drills, at least for the time being.
Players will also be required to travel to training on their own, and communal areas like changing rooms will not be open to use, while during training tackling and close contact will be banned and players will be organised into groups no larger than five.
However, if that first phase goes well this week, and if players continue to test negative for coronavirus, it is likely that the rules would be relaxed—perhaps as soon as next week—as teams work towards regaining full fitness for the return of football.
“Premier League shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small group training from tomorrow afternoon,” read a statement from the league. “[This is] the first step towards restarting the Premier League when safe to do so.
“Step One enables squads to train while maintaining social distancing. Contact training is not yet permitted. This first stage has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, Premier League club doctors independent experts, and the government.
“The health and wellbeing of all participants it the priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process. Consultation will continue with players, managers, clubs, and the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.”