British Government ‘opening door’ for football return

first_img(BBC) – The government says it is “opening the door” for the return of professional football in England in June.Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said yesterday’s meeting with the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League had “progressed plans”.He added that plans for the sport to resume should “include widening access for fans to view live coverage”.Meanwhile, England’s deputy chief medical officer said any return would be “slow” and “measured”.The Premier League met on Monday to discuss ‘Project Restart’ and hopes for a return to action on June 12, with matches played behind closed doors.“We all agreed that we will only go ahead if it is safe to do so and the health and welfare of players, coaches and staff comes first,” said Dowden.“It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalise the detail of their plans, and there is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.“The government and our medical experts will continue to offer guidance and support.”He added that plans to return should “ensure finances from the game’s resumption supports the wider football family”.The next meeting of Premier League clubs will take place on Monday, when top-flight players may return to initial group training under social-distancing protocols.Footballers have so far been limited to individual training but Premier League bosses hope a first phase of team training, under strict guidelines and restricted to 75 minutes can begin next week.England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said: “There will be small, carefully-measured, step-wise approaches to see what can be achieved safely. The first of those is to return safely to training, still observing social distancing.“We will have to see how that goes before we can even think about moving on to the return of competitive football matches.”Monday’s meeting will come after a weekend when the Bundesliga, Germany’s top flight, becomes the first major league to restart.The Premier League has been suspended since March 13 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and most teams have nine fixtures left to play.Brighton had a third player test positive for coronavirus earlier in May and boss Graham Potter is wary about a return to action.“We are in uncharted territory. It’s a hugely complex situation,” he said.“It’s very difficult to call one day to the next. The general will from all the clubs is to play out the season as close to the format as possible. Whatever date that is remains to be seen.“We are sanitising the environment. The players are not coming in for any length of time.“It will be as safe as it is made to be. The challenge will be when (we have) contact, larger groups and different teams. We need to see where we are on Monday and then Tuesday.”He added: “There are concerns, of course. We have come out of lockdown. The situation is not totally resolved.“I have a young family. My wife’s family has health issues. We are human beings.”Meanwhile, the Premier League confirmed clubs had decided that short-term contract extensions could be agreed with players whose deals run out on June 30, with the season set to go beyond that date.Club and players will now have until June 23 to agree extensions which run until whenever the campaign is scheduled to finish.Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said it was decided “to ensure as far as possible that clubs complete the season with the same squad they had available prior to the suspension of the campaign”.Elsewhere, six League One clubs have united to express their determination to finish the season.Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has released a statement on behalf of Posh, Oxford, Sunderland, Fleetwood, Portsmouth and Ipswich.League One clubs are due to meet with the EFL board today to discuss options for completing the season.ANALYSISThe fact the government summoned the three football bodies to a meeting together tells its own story. Ministers want football to think collectively during this crisis, act in the interests of the whole game and to understand that any government financial bailouts for the sport are highly unlikely.The Premier League was reminded that if its season does resume next month, it will be expected to do what it can for clubs in the EFL and for grassroots football. And to ensure that, while honouring contracts with its broadcast partners, as many matches as possible are shown free to air, so that as many people as possible can watch them.With the Premier League lobbying government to scrap the idea of neutral stadiums to keep their clubs happy, ministers are now asking for something in return.It was significant today that despite continued police concerns over the risk of fans gathering outside grounds once matches resume, the government reinforced its support for the resumption of matches.But it also warned that games will only take place if the phased return to training goes to plan, and the sense is that ‘Project Restart’ still hangs in the balance.last_img read more

Paddy Power – Boris in the dock following repeat of ‘Brexit NHS claim’

first_img Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Submit BGC: Government must ‘act fast’ and extend furlough scheme August 11, 2020 Related Articles StumbleUpon Share Share Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 Paddy Power Politics has installed UK Foreign Affairs Secretary Boris Johnson as the clear 11/4 market favourite to become the next Conservative cabinet minister to leave/resign from their post of duty.Johnson came under fire this weekend, following the publication of his Daily Telegraph opinion piece ‘My Vision for a Bold & Thriving Britain, enabled by Brexit’, in which the secretary repeated his claim that ‘£350 million a week could be freed up by Brexit for the NHS’.The claim would be criticised by UK government organisations and Johnson detractors, stating that the Foreign Affairs Secretary had again purposely misused official government statistics to drive his agenda.Furthermore, internal Tory Party pressure has mounted on Johnson as cabinet colleagues have detailed that Johnson’s Telegraph article directly undermined PM Theresa May’s efforts to progress with tough EU-exit negotiations.UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd told BBC Politics that Johnson was attempting to ‘back seat driving’ Brexit negotiations tactics and that his intervention was unneededThe all-encompassing subject matter of Brexit has deeply divided the Conservative Party, with Paddy Power now placing ‘Bojo’ at 11/4 to leave his role as Foreign Secretary before any other cabinet member departs. PM Theresa May next in the betting at 5/1 .Paddy PowerChancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond (7/1), Party Chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin (10/1), and Education Secretary Justine Greening (11/1) are next in the Paddy Power betting markets.Politics Spokesman Paddy Power commented on Johnson’s position: “The pressure is mounting to force Boris Johnson out – something he’ll know plenty about having spearheaded the UK’s Brexit campaign.“I’m not sure he’ll be too worried about being our favourite to leave his cabinet position next – after all, he clearly has eyes on a different job, anyway.”Paddy Power ‘Next Cabinet Minister to Leave’11/4       Boris Johnson5/1         Theresa May7/1         Philip Hammond10/1       Sir Patrick McLoughlin11/1       Justine Greening12/1       Liam Fox14/1       Michael Gove14/1       Chris Graylinglast_img read more