Project Restart, because apparently that’s what we’re calling it, is underway and there will be a vote on how to recommence the Premier League season…at some point in the near future.
That vote has been delayed somewhat because a number of clubs – thought to be six, although only Brighton, Watford and Aston Villa have said so publicly – currently towards the bottom of the table are against the proposals, particularly the plan to host games at neutral grounds.
Of course, all of this could be moot. Germany is ostensibly way ahead of the Premier League, having announced its return for May 16, but this past weekend it was announced that Dynamo Dresden, from Bundesliga 2, had returned three positive tests and their entire squad will thus have to go into 14 days quarantine, meaning they will miss at least two games in Germany’s own Project Restart. Projektneustart, if you will.
And this is unlikely to be, if you’ll excuse the slight pun, an isolated case. This will happen again, and could do so at a time which throws everything into chaos.
Which brings us back to the Premier League.
“It goes almost without saying that, despite all of the negotiations, it is that testing period that is going to prove crucial,” said Daniel Storey on the Totally Football Show. “Even if everything else works and the votes go through, if we get a Dynamo Dresden, and it happens to be a club who were already a bit unsure with the plans we had, it basically kiboshes the whole thing.
“There really isn’t the room [in the schedule], if we start in mid-June, for teams to go into isolation for 14 days at least. Common sense dictates that if three players test positive and are in isolation, it’s pretty possible that we will restart again and another team suffers exactly the same fate.”
You can’t really blame the Premier League for trying, even if there are certain moral questions about press-ganging footballers into playing football in these conditions. But it does all raise the very real prospect that Project Restart is absolutely doomed to fail.
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