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Premier League clubs agree on match day rules; dialogue opened with Government about fans returning

Premier League clubs have agreed on the new matchday rules ahead of the season resuming on Wednesday 17 June 2020. The new plans will allow up to 300 people in each stadium, which is important in the time of social distancing to avert the coronavirus, which is still out there and infecting people. Many will wonder why the season is resuming.

However, other industries have started to return to work, football is an industry after all. The NHS have been risking their lives throughout. Anyway, in addition to people control in each stadium, each team with be given 37 Red Zone passes, of which 20 will be given to players, 12 for coaching and medical staff and five more for other people.

Green and Amber zones will be used for the remaining 226 people, which could even see scouts returning to the game, ahead of the summer transfer window opening, which will be delayed this season, like everything else. Club representatives, a referee, two linesmen and a fourth official will be in attendance also.

VAR will continue with officials at Stockley Park, being spread across a number of rooms to maintain social distancing. The television broadcasters, such as Sky and BT Sport will have up to 98 staff in the ground, in addition to a maximum of 25 written journalists and 15 radio broadcasters.

There will be a minutes silence for the NHS and the victims of the coronavirus pandemic before the first matches to be played, with Aston Villa versus Sheffield United and Manchester City versus Arsenal to be played on Wednesday evening. United will return to action on Friday against Tottenham Hotspur at the clubs new stadium.

The away team will walk out onto the pitch first, followed by the home team, then the match officials. If there is a way to use two tunnels for this, it could be implemented. Benches will be extended, like those in the Bundesliga with player respecting social distancing regulations. There will be a 15 minute team talk in the dressing room.

The Premier League has also opened dialogue with the Government regarding supporters in the stadium. It is likely that the remainder of the season will be played behind closed doors, however, in Spain with La Liga returning to action on Thursday evening, there is a play to allow 10-15% of supporters into stadiums before the end of the season.

There could be a chance that the Government will agree to something like what La Liga hope to implement, but it will need to be closely monitored and only something that happens if the coronavirus pandemic stops spreading the way it has done, which is something that is happening, with things slowly getting better.

However, even if supporters are left out of stadiums for the remainder of the season, the mere thought of this happening would suggest that the supporters might not be left out for the entirety of the 2020/21 season, which will probably start just weeks after the current season has been completed, with the UEFA competitions played in August, apparently.

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