What will training look like as Premier League clubs prepare to return?

Do players want to go back to work? What protocols will have to be in place?

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino during a training session at Melwood ahead of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match with FC Porto
Image: Players will be encouraged to wear masks or snoods when they return to training

Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol runs through the key answers from the latest Premier League meeting as players prepare to return to training on Tuesday...

Who was at the meeting and what was it about?

The Premier League met with players, the PFA and government experts on Wednesday morning to discuss players returning to training next week, with Tuesday set as the return day.

All players have been given a 40-page document on training protocols. Each club was represented on the videoconference meeting by their captain.

Some club PFA reps were also in the meeting. Club captains that attended the meeting include Jordan Henderson, Harry Maguire, Cesar Azpilicueta, Mark Noble, and Troy Deeney.

"We're going to be in a far safer environment than anyone going to a supermarket, the training grounds will be very safe, it'll actually be safer for players to come to the training grounds than the weekly family shop that they may have been doing," one senior figure from a Premier League club told Sky Sports News.

"Its going to be very controlled, small groups initially without access to the training ground facilities at all."

What will training look like?

Players will be expected to drive to their training grounds in training kit, preferably wearing a mask and gloves, at a specially designated time. Players are not allowed to share cars with their team-mates and they have to keep the interior of their cars as clean as possible. When they arrive at the entrance to the training ground, their temperature will be checked before they are allowed in.

Also See:

In the car park, they won't be able to park in their usual place but will instead have to use a designated parking bay. There will be three empty spaces either side of their car. There will not be any valet car washes and there won't be any weekly visits from their favourite barber either.

Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen will be allowed to return to the Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre
Image: Players will work together in small groups, containing just five members of the squad each

Once parked, they will go from their car straight to their allocated training pitch and maintain a social distance of two metres from others at all times. Their training session can last no longer than 75 minutes and it will be in a group of five players with a maximum of three coaches.

Players will be encouraged to wear masks or snoods while they train and if they need treatment, club physios and medical staff will be wearing PPE, which will include a mask, gloves and an apron.

There will be no contact and no tackling in phase one of training which is due to start next week. There will be no exercises or drills which would require players to be close to each other. Everything players come into contact with will be disinfected regularly including the pitch, balls, gloves, goalposts and all training equipment.

Real Madrid's Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois arrives to undergo coronavirus tests at the Ciudad del Real Madrid training facilities in Valdebebas, Madrid, on May 6, 2020
Image: Players will be encouraged to drive to and from training in their kit, as seen in Spain with Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois

Once the training session is over, players will be allowed a brief period to warm down and they will then go straight back to their cars and drive home. There will be no food at the training ground.

Players will not be allowed to stay behind for any extra work and they are not allowed to move onto any other pitches.

There will not be any squad or team meetings at the training ground. If managers want to hold team meetings they must continue to be carried out by videoconference until Premier League guidance changes.

Players will also be tested at least twice a week and have a mini medical to check for any underlying respiratory or cardiac issues. All players will be tested in the 48 hours before they train.

The aim is to make Premier League training grounds among the safest places in England. All clubs have to have a Covid-19 operational policy and a designated Covid-19 officer.

Do the players want to go back to work?

All players have agreed to inform their club immediately if they or anyone in their household develops any Covid-19 symptoms.

The rules put in place cannot totally eliminate risk or guarantee no-one will catch or pass on Covid-19. They are aimed at making the 20 Premier League training grounds as safe and clean as possible. They are a first important step towards making sure the current season restarts and finishes this summer.

It is fair to say the majority of players want to go back.

But some players want to know about what will happen to those in the profession who have asthma or other respiratory conditions. They want to know why official data shows that BAME groups are more likely to develop and die from Covid-19.

Bundesliga clubs have been back in training since April 7
Image: Bundesliga clubs have been back in training since April 7 and are preparing for the resumption of the league this weekend

There are also questions about the so-called consent forms which players are being asked to sign.

Players are being asked to sign the forms to agree to abide by their club's Covid-19 operational policy but they have to be sure that they are not signing away any of their legal or employment rights.

The PFA also wants to make sure that players who do not want to return yet will be treated fairly and will not have their pay frozen or deferred.

"There's a huge psychological element to this, if you mess up the psychology when it comes to the players right now you're going to have massive problems as a club," a senior figure at a Premier League club said.

"If the players don't feel cared for or don't feel like they've been kept in the loop, then as fit as they may be, they're not going to be motivated to work hard together in the interests of the club.

"The policies and the documentation that we've received from the Premier League and the guidelines that we have to deliver an incredibly safe return to the training ground have seen doctors at clubs working day in day out on this and people need to know to these are going to be the safest places."

What happens next?

If everyone is happy with the proposals - clubs, players and managers - then training can resume, if it is approved by the government and Public Health England.

The football authorities, including the Premier League, are meeting the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden on Thursday.

The next Premier League shareholders' meeting is scheduled to take place next Monday.

Join Sky Bet Club and track your progress towards a £5 free Bet

Join Sky Bet Club and track your progress towards a £5 free Bet

Opt in and bet £25 or more before 23:59 on Sunday. Free bets credited by 7pm on Monday.

Around Sky