Premier League clubs facing surprise checks to ensure they are following new coronavirus health and safety

Premier League clubs facing surprise checks to ensure they are following new coronavirus health and safety thumbnail

Premier League clubs are facing surprise inspections to ensure they are keeping the new health and safety measures as players return to training this week. They has also committed to making every positive COVID-19 test public knowledge. Top flight clubs were recently given a dossier of new protocols to follow to reduce the risk of coronavirus at training grounds and stadiums, as Project Restart takes another step toward a possible return to action next month. getty Melwood will welcome Liverpool players back to training this week, but only on small groups The directives include players being told to arrive at their club’s training ground wearing kit, and leave three parking spaces between their cars. Players will also not be able to gather in communal areas, while face coverings must be worn, and all training equipment will be disinfected by club staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Premier League medical adviser Dr Mark Gillett also did not rule out the idea of teams being based in effective quarantine in hotels once the action starts, but said those conversations had not taken place yet. The 20 top-flight clubs have unanimously agreed for small group training to resume from Tuesday, and will gather again on May 26 to discuss protocols for full contact training, which will be the clearest signpost as to when the Premier League can actually restart. June 12 has been mentioned as a start date, but the league’s chief executive Richard Masters has said that was only ever to be treated as a ‘staging post’. Getty Images Players have been told to wear face masks as they return to training this week The first step involves small groups of up to five players working together, whilst practising social distancing, with sessions to last no more than 75 minutes for any one player. The league’s director of football Richard Garlick said it was important for every club to have confidence that their rivals were sticking to the rules, and have assured they will police it with no-notice spot-checks to make sure the rules are followed. “We can request information from videoing of the sessions and GPS data, too,” Garlick said. “We are also looking at bringing in our own independent audit inspection team that we’ll scale up over the next few days which will give us the ability to have inspections at training grounds to start with on a no-notice basis. “Gradually, we aim to ramp that up so we can have an inspector at every training ground. That will enable us to give everyone confidence that the protocols are being complied with, and give the public confidence that we are trying to create a very safe working environment.” Masters said any positive test would be made public in bid to be as ‘transparent and open’ as possible, although the league itself will not name the player or club. The results of the first round of coronavirus testing will be confirmed on Tuesday afternoon. getty Players and club staff will be regularly swab tested to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading Gillett also addressed the emerging data which shows people from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background have worse outcomes related to coronavirus. This comes amid news that Watford striker Troy Deeney is refusing to return to training over fears of passing the virus to his family, including his young son who has breathing difficulties. “Within the meeting I asked very simple questions,” said the Hornets captain. “For Black, Asian and mixed ethnicities they are four times more likely to get the illness and twice as likely to have long lasting illness: Is there any additional screening? Heart stuff to see if anyone has a problem? “I just said: ‘If you don’t know the information, why would I put myself at risk?’.” Troy Deeney right to refuse to return to Watford training over COVID-19 fears, says Ally McCoist – “There is no argument against him.” And Gillett said: “It’s a fair thing to acknowledge that there is an increased risk in BAME groups. “In mitigation of that, the risk in young fit athletes is still very, very small and I think that is an important factor. I come back again to the fact that we’re trying to create the safest possible working environment we can for these people. “I’m happy we’ve mitigated all the risks that we can understand at this point and then when more information becomes available obviously we will do everything we can to mitigate against that as well. We will certainly move with it in real time as more information becomes available.”,

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