Premier League demanding players sign waiver before returning amid coronavirus chaos | Football | Sport

There is still one major hurdle, with the Premier League demanding players sign a waiver before returning to work, a factor which continues to cause to concern. However, the board hoped to win over its stars by limiting talks to just the first few days of low-risk training.

For a time, this will involve just one-on-one drills with coaches, after the government published initial protocols for elite athletes that stop short of allowing “social clustering”

The focus for the moment is on what the government call Step One and in what was described as a “positive” meeting on Wednesday afternoon, players were told what to expect then they report back to their training grounds as expected early next week.

“The additional guidance necessary for operating under step two will be finalised and communicated once the government has agreed to move to this step, following advice from medical experts that it is safe to do so,” the document explained.

Strong emotions have been voiced about the safety concerns over playing again while the country is still under the grip of coronavirus, but there were clear directives that players could not be forced to return to training if they had specific concerns.

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Government guidelines say, “extremely vulnerable individuals or those continuing to live with anyone deemed clinically extremely vulnerable should not be engaged in the training environment.”

However, that suspicion remains over the waiver issue and the Premier League expect to receive feedback via the chief executives who are scheduled to meet on Monday.

Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Gordon Taylor believes Project Restart can be achievable as long as players receive the assurances they need.

He said: “We’ve got the best possible people available to answer the questions on different issues like testing, if someone tests positive, spitting, social distancing and BAME players with regard to the data which suggestions they are more susceptible.

“It’s about giving the reassurances to players and what they are asking to make sure everything that can be done is being done as far as possible.

“If you’re asking me, with the type of guarantees or assurances that would give confidence to the players then it’s achievable.

“It is a step-by-step process. It’s like I’ve said from the beginning, it’s one bridge at a time. But this is a key month. It’s one month at a time and we’ve got to take it slowly but carefully and see how thing develop.

“For certain it will be an opportunity for them to express their feelings, they will also need to be comfortable and confident with the answers and assurances they are given. It’s quite as straightforward as that.

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