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Premier League puts phase one of 'Project Restart' in place as clubs start to take action

Premier League puts phase one of 'Project Restart' in place as clubs start to take action 1

The Premier League has told clubs to start recalling players as they begin to roll out phase one of ‘Project Restart’ – the name of the plan to get top-flight football resumed in the UK.

Opinion is split on whether the Premier League should be continuing the season or ending it prematurely like the French, Belgian and Dutch divisions.

However, there is a plan in place to see the final nine game weeks played out behind closed doors in neutral stadia.

Clubs will be briefed on ‘Project Restart’ in a video call on Friday where safety measures will also be discussed.

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And they have already been told to start bringing their foreign players back to the UK as training is expected to resume within weeks.

Chelsea’s Willian, Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho and Tottenham winger Steve Berwijn are some of the biggest names to return to their homeland for the lockdown period.

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PFA deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes has been involved in the restart talks but he has reservations over the plan.

He said: “We have reiterated that players are not just footballers but partners, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who share the same health concerns as everyone else during this pandemic.

“We have been assured of the intentions of all that there would be no resumption unless guarantees of safety could be given to the players.

“The overriding principle for all parties is the health and safety of all participants on and off the field and of course the wider public.”

It has been suggested that matches could be played every day once action gets back underway in June.

There are also calls for the fixtures to be shown on free-to-air TV to ensure  the public do not break lockdown protocol to be able to tune in.

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