Premier League managers pushing for Project Restart return date to be delayed

Premier League bosses are pushing for Project Restart to go into extra time.

But it is understood that managers and players are now firmly behind Premier League taking the next step towards games kicking off again next month.

Players and managers were both involved in separate meetings with Premier League chiefs and the Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers’ Association ahead of a vote on Wednesday to begin phase two of contact training.

But the only sticking point is when games resume as the Premier League are sticking by the original restart date of June 12, and although they may be willing to push back to June 19, managers would prefer June 26.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: “The talks were very good, open and constructive and the players were given answers to some deep, searching and good questions.

“The Premier League have been very responsive on this from answering questions on the BAME issue to listening to the players and managers who are at the top of their profession. The respect has been there and it’s been hugely appreciated.”

The big fear on the managers’ side is that if contact training starts this week then that will not give them enough time to get their players match fit in three weeks.

They want a bit of leeway after more than two months off in lockdown as several clubs – including Tottenham and Liverpool – have players who have already suffered muscle and soft tissue injuries.

Managers want players to be fully fit to restart games, although Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was a notable exception last time as he made it clear he wants to start again as soon as it is safe to do so.

But the overall feeling was positive as the players in particular were given medical evidence and science to show it is safe to step up training.


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