“Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small-group training from tomorrow afternoon, the first step towards restarting the, when safe to do so.
“Step One of the Return to Training Protocol enables squads to train while maintaining social distancing. Contact training is not yet permitted.
“This first stage has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, club doctors, independent experts and the Government.
“Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible.
“The health and wellbeing of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.
“Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.”
The players, managers, the LMA and the PFA were all consulted before the vote took place, and it has been decided that Phase Two will now go ahead.
It means that every Premier League team can train as a full squad, with tackling allowed, although unnecessary contact will need to be kept to a minimum.
Testing will continue to take place twice a week, but the low number of positive tests (just 8 in 1744) means there is growing confidence that fixtures will resume next month.
Things can change, but it is now expected that the Premier League will vote on when the season will restart. June 12th had been pencilled in as the preferred start date.
However, some clubs do have concerns about the fitness of their players and it is believed that there will be a push to move the restart back by a week to June 19th.