The Premier League Is Back With “Project Restart”
The sporting world, like many others, came to a standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and to the disappointment of many fans, their weekends had been left with no sporting action to look forward to.
However, not only is the sports industry slowly springing back in to action, the world’s most-watched football league, The English Premier League is back on June 17th!
It's been far from easy for the clubs throughout this lockdown period. They’ve had to constantly monitor their players' fitness levels, diets, training schedule, etc - all virtually.
The Premier League board first announced that the clubs could resume training in batches in the beginning of May, although some players were understandably skeptical of taking part in contact training with N’Golo Kante of Chelsea and Troy Deeney of Watford Football Club refusing to return to training citing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
After much deliberation, the government authorities, shareholders and the board finally decided that the clubs could resume full contact training from 28th May and that the league would officially restart on June 17th, with the first match being played exactly 100 days after the initial suspension due to the pandemic outbreak.
The League will resume with significant changes and precautions, taking a cue from the Bundesliga, which resumed the league in May and has been successfully hosting matches without any health and safety issues so far. This means that for the first time in almost forever, the fans will not be present in the stadium - a decision that has been taken to control the virus from spreading and keeping in mind the safety of the fans and the players. As a result, several more TV channels have acquired telecast rights to showcase premier league matches for all the people tuning in from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Some more interesting facts regarding the reboot of the Premier League include Players sporting NHS badges and the 'Black Lives Matter' slogan to show support and appreciation towards the various healthcare personnels fighting against the pandemic every day as well as the ongoing movement for equality. A minute of silence will also be held for those who have been affected by and lost their battle to the virus.
Liverpool, who are on track to win their first league title in 30 years will unfortunately lift the trophy in an empty stadium with the unlikely event of the victory parade taking place - a heartbreaking revelation for the clubs’ fans and players considering the stellar season they’ve had!
An exciting aspect of the restart is the battle for the Top 4 with heavyweights like Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all battling for a place on the roster which could further see these clubs secure a champions league berth for next season.
This season has all the ingredients to make any football fans’ day (or night depending on when you catch the match!) and promises to go down to the wire. You can see the full line up of fixtures here.
Get ready to sport your favorite team’s jersey and belt out the anthems!