Could Sheffield United return to action in June?
One of Sheffield United’s top-flight rivals have told their players to begin preparing for a return to action in June; three months after the Premier League fixture schedule was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although an official date has yet to be set, Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber confirmed Graham Potter’s squad suspect that could be when clubs receive the green light to complete the remainder of their seasons.
Barber said: “I think we are still in a holding pattern, we have got another Premier League meeting in a week’s time when we will have chance to discuss the latest information from the Government and I think we will see where we are then.
“Graham and (technical director) Dan Ashworth are getting the players back together again in the first week of May (on a conference call), with a view of potentially beginning to play some time in June. But these are lines in the sand as opposed to definitive schedules.
“We haven’t really talked in specific detail about the schedule because it is almost impossible to do so.”
Unlike United manager Chris Wilder, who believes it will take around a fortnight for players to get back into shape, Barber insists four week’s worth of training are required.
“There are so many variables in there,” he added. “When will the lockdown be lifted? If a lockdown is lifted, what will social distancing look like?
“If it is relaxed to some degree, does that mean players can go back to training? If they go back to training, does that mean it is in small groups or larger groups?"
UEFA, the European governing body, told members on Thursday that any qualification to its competitions next season should be decided on sporting merit.
That means that if the campaign cannot be completed without impacting the next one, the Premier League must come up with a way to decide its final table.
“We are not at that point yet,” Barber said. “We are very determined to try and find a way to finish the season for all the reasons that we’ve discussed many times before."