The Premier League is Back
After an unforgiving spell of staying indoors following public health guidelines, the nation finally got something to celebrate in the Premier League. Aston Villa faces Sheffield United after a 100-day suspension. This is the first of 92 games to be squeezed in the coming 40 days before the season concludes on July 26.
Player kits will have heart-shaped badges as an acknowledgment of the contribution by health workers. The first 12 matches will see player kits having the Black Lives Matter in the place of player names. The move is prompted by the death of George Floyd who passed away in the United States after protests erupted worldwide. A live broadcast of all 92 games is expected, with BBC confirming they will show 4 matches.
Thanks to their pre-COVID invincible run, Liverpool sit atop the league 25 points clear from their next rival. Aston Villa, Bournemouth, and Norwich are at the bottom below the relegation zone. The Reds are chasing a title victory after three decades of trying. If Manchester City happens to lose to Arsenal at their opening game, the Reds can clinch the title if they win their incoming game.
Should the Premier League be Open?
The drop in new COVID-19 infections across the UK resulted in an easing of the lockdown and restrictions. Once the correct safety measures were in place, the premier league had the authorization to go-ahead as of 1 June. Premier League players and staff members will undergo routine tests every 2 weeks. Any player who tests positive will undergo self-isolation for 7 days. The Euro 2020 having been delayed for a year, has given the league greater flexibility to squeeze in the remaining fixtures.
A few concerns have been raised over several player contracts running out on 30 June as well as the scheduled start of the 2020-2021 season in August.
What Measures are in Place?
- All matches to carry on without an audience and number of people within the stadium shouldn’t exceed 300.
- Stadium divided into various zones; red, amber, and green. There will be restricted use to various zones.
- Teams allowed to make five substitutes rather than three. They can also name nine substitutes rather than the standard seven.
- No handshakes before the match kicks off and deep cleaning of surfaces and sporting kits after every game.
- Observance of social distancing by coaching staff and other squads.
- Post-match interviews done by the pitch and conferences to be held virtually.
Where did we leave it off?
Before the league was suspended Liverpool were racing towards a premier league win after a 30-year struggle. The Reds are a win shy of claiming the top prize and hold a 25 point lead over their nearest rivals.