The English Premier League: Back (Soon)

Written by on May 11, 2020

The Premier League already has an official return date 

By Bryan Bejarano

Since the sports activity in England stopped on March 9, the Premier League, the English Football League, the Football Association, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports have been working on different proposals to be able to finish the 2019-2020 season. Some of the ideas included determining the positions of each team using a mathematical formula or declaring the season void and focusing on planning the 2020-2021 season. Despite the large number of proposals and ideas that were analyzed, finally, a couple of weeks ago, the restart project was announced. This plan proposes to play the 9 pending dates in neutral stadiums, without public, with strong sanitary controls monitored by doctors of each team and by a medical group of the government, and prohibiting the changes of t-shirt, spits and the celebrations on the part of the players. This project is the most viable way not only to return to sports activity but also to save more than 800 million euros in television rights.

The Restart Project has been under discussion with Premier League teams and the British government to fine-tune details. The government public a couple of days ago a document of 50 pages with the guidelines for the return of sports activities, including soccer, as long as the pandemic allows it. The paper says: “Allow cultural and sporting events to be held behind closed doors for broadcast, avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.” The document also includes the official date for the restart of the Premier League.

Important dates

The British government proposes June 12 as the date to resume the Premier League, abiding by the provisions proposed in the restart project. Another important date is May 18, the day in which the teams must return to group training to be ready for the restart of the activity. Arsenal and Tottenham had anticipated this, and since a couple of weeks ago, they opened their training centers so that the players can do individual work. The Premier League would be ending the 2019-2020 campaign on July 31.

What will the 2020-2021 season be like?

What we will see from next June 12 may be the new normal of the Premier League. Some media speculate that there will be no public in the stadium until a definitive vaccine against COVID-19 is found. A vaccine will not be ready in up to about 18 months, according to some experts, which means that most of the 2020-2021 season will be played in empty stadiums.

Teams like Aston Villa, Watford, Brighton, West Ham, Norwich and Bournemouth have spoken out against playing in stadiums without an audience. As they consider that not having the support of their fans can affect the performance of the team.

Arsenal, Manchester City, and Liverpool also believe that playing in empty stadiums and in silence take away some of the fun from matches. These teams contacted the German company hack-CARE, who has developed the MyApplauseapplication. This smartphone app will allow fans to cheer on their teams using 4 options: cheer, clap, sing, and whistle. The stadiums will have sound equipment distributed by the stands in which the sounds sent by the application will be played.

Apparently, the app will be free for Premier League teams who want to use it, and the German company might even offer them a share of the money raised in the future. For their part, fans who want to use it must pay $ 1.23 for the download. The application can support up to 1 million users at the same time. This app will allow fans from around the world to cheer on teams, something never seen before.

We are definitely witnessing a historic moment that will change the way soccer is played and seen.

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