Project Restart: Clubs Pushing to Scrap Relegation, Fake Crowd Noise to Be Played During Games & More

Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League
Arsenal FC v West Ham United - Premier League | Alex Morton/Getty Images

We've hit June now, and that means the Premier League is coming back this month. The light at the end of the tunnel is here.

However, before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are still a few issues which need to be ironed out, including what to do if the season ends up getting cancelled or how to ensure matches aren't uncomfortable to watch for viewers.

Let's take a look at what has been said.

'Up to 10' Clubs Want Relegation Scrapped

The idea of scrapping relegation has long been discussed ever since football was postponed, and while it's not currently in the pipeline, there are believed to be plenty of sides who would vote to scrap the drop if the season cannot finish as normal.

An unnamed club owner told Sky Sports: We would vote for no relegation if the season is curtailed. There are up to 10 clubs who think the same thing."

EFL chairman Rick Parry has threatened legal action if promotion and relegation are scrapped this summer, so there's still a lot of work to do to convince the powers that be that this is a good idea.

Clubs Planning Friendlies Before Season Resumes

Now that teams have returned to contact training, the focus is firmly on getting ready for a return to competitive action.

According to The Times, several Premier League clubs are planning in-house 11-a-side friendlies at their own empty stadiums to help players get used to playing without a crowd.

Any team who wishes to do so will have to complete a risk assessment before holding a training session at their stadium.

Premier League to Introduce Water Breaks

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League | Julian Finney/Getty Images

With football set to stretch over into the summer, the Premier League are ready to bring back water breaks during games to ensure players stay hydrated.

The Sun note that medical staff are concerned by the prospect of playing so much football during the hot summer months, so the hope is to introduce breaks in both halves of every game to keep players as safe as possible.

The main stumbling block is that every player would need their own bottle to ensure they are not spreading the coronavirus, and there are fears that this could take up too much time during matches.

FIFA Noise Could Be Played During Games

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League
Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

One common issue with playing behind closed doors is the lack of atmosphere and how that will impact both the players and the viewers at home. Well, there might be a solution to that.

The Daily Mail state that clubs will all be asked to vote on whether to broadcast crowd noise from the video game FIFA 20 during games to try and simulate the atmosphere of a full stadium. Fans would have the option to turn it on and off during broadcasts.

There are also several other plans under consideration, including fan mosaics, 360° replays and a new tactical camera - all of which are expected to be approved without any real opposition.

Players Who Test Positive to Miss Season Restart

The Telegraph have revealed that any player who tests positive for coronavirus during the next round of testing faces missing the first round of fixtures.

The 'return to play' protocol means that any player with the virus must wait two weeks before returning to group training, meaning that there is very little chance that anybody who tests positive will be back in time for the restart.

There were no cases discovered during the latest round of testing, and the hope is obviously to see the same result from the upcoming round.

Older Stadiums Struggling to Meet Safety Regulations on Time

BRITAIN-HEALTH-VIRUS-FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON
BRITAIN-HEALTH-VIRUS-FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

For a stadium to be used to finish the season, it must meet a number of safety regulations. Clubs are busy securing their stadiums in anticipation for the restart, but the Daily Mail state that some older stadiums are struggling to do so.

In more compact stadiums, finding ways to abide by social distancing guidelines may not be too simple, with Goodison Park, Turf Moor, Vicarage Road and Selhurst Park all predicted to need 'extensive work' if they are to be ready for the return date of 17 June.

It is expected that every side will be happy to do whatever it takes to bring football back, even if some end up needing to spend plenty of money to get up to standard.

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