By Callum Brady
Everyone can finally rejoice, the Premier League is back after the appropriate bodies have collaborated and approved the return biggest football league in the world and the highly anticipated day of the return has been scheduled for June 17th. The UK government have approved the safe return of premier league football and the premier league has set the return date.
The decision was made after several stages of testing and training starting with non-contact training unrestricted groups to the most recent announcement of full contact training, alongside this regular testing was practiced to detect any cases of COVID-19 along the way. The premier league conducted five rounds of testing up to this date and in these five rounds of testing there were 5,077 tests and 13 players have tested positive out of that number with the most recent round having tested 1197 players and club staff for COVID-19 and only one test came back positive. Another key component to the premier leagues return was the return of the German Bundesliga May 16th, the German first division was the first of the top leagues to make the much anticipated return and to this day the return looks to have been successful due to different forms of health and safety protocol being applied.
In regards to what English football fans, as well as football fans around the world, have to look forward to come the opening week of the premier league from Wednesday 17th to Wednesday 24th, there are 19 games and so far 13 games are confirmed to be live of sky sports. Of those 19 games there are some massive games, starting with Man City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield United on the opening weekend which features a battle of the heavyweights as well as the surprise of the league Sheffield fighting for European positions in taking on Villa who are battling to stay in the league. Over the weekend you also have another battle of heavyweights when Spurs take on Manchester United in a top four battle and one of the biggest games of the opening week the reigning European champs and runaway league leader take on Everton in an interesting Merseyside derby. To cap off the rest of the week there are some big games for teams fighting for survival where points can be picked up including Newcastle United taking on Aston Villa and Norwich taking on Everton. All these games create a very interesting first week of premier league action which I'm sure will have tens of millions glued to their chairs and I am sure the gambling sights will be making a pretty penny I'm sure.
Although the return of the premier league seems to be one of the big rays of sunshine needed in these dark days but with all the positivity the league will bring there are still many factors and situations which could potentially go wrong or need assessing. A key issue with the league being brought back is what every sporting league is going have to deal with over the next year and that is when sports come back with the appropriate safeguards in place such as empty stadiums and the long lay off the question is who is benefiting more than others with this and who is being negatively affected? This point raises many questions, for instance, do the larger clubs have an advantage on smaller clubs due to their superior training facilities meaning players can get back into match fitness faster and more efficiently than others, also teams who played the majority of their home games at the beginning of the season and have a run-in containing mainly away games which are now in empty stadiums, does that give them teams a massive advantage? It is very interesting what the premier league, as well as other sporting bodies, are going to do about this because come the end of the season when some teams are relegated, some promoted and some gain them vital European spots the teams that are being relegated or missing out will be losing out of vast amounts of money and they will turn to these sporting bodies with very valid excuses why it may have not been fair and them same sporting bodies will have to act appropriately or I'm sure there will be a lot of legal action sent in their direction.
Looking away from the negative scenarios that could take place, everyone should be in a great mood, all your favourite stars are back, the action is back, the drama is back, controversy is back, (VAR is back), your teams are back and most important of all FOOTBALL IS BACK!