Training protocols issued to City players as clubs prepare for team training
- Credit: Tony Thrussell
Norwich City’s players will be subjected to strict testing and even firmer social distancing measures if Premier League clubs are to return to team training next week.
All 20 top-flight clubs are said to have been sent a 40-page document outlining protocols for a possible resumption of group training next week, with players understood to have received a condensed eight-page document from the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA).
With the Premier League attempting to return in June, players will be tested twice a week and subjected to a daily temperature check and questionnaire, according to a BBC report.
If any player tests positive, with or without symptoms, they will be forced to self-isolate for seven days.
Once they are allowed in the training ground - where they must have travelled to individually and not used public transport - they will not be allowed to gather in communal areas and will not be fed.
Medical staff and physios must wear PPE (personal protective equipment) when treating players, while data will be kept on record and sent to the Premier League.
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Once out on the pitch, tackling and contact will reportedly be banned for the first phase of team training while all equipment, including playing surfaces, will be disinfected.
Players, the PFA and government staff are reported to be meeting today over safety issues surrounding a possible restart.
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Wolves became the first club to unveil a drive-through testing station at their training ground on Tuesday, as part of a reported £4million agreement between the Premier League and Hong Kong-based genetic testing company Prenetics.
Norwich City are not thought to have installed a similar facility at the Lotus Training Centre at Colney yet, although it’s expected that all clubs will be setting up similar testing capacity.
The Canaries’ players have been able to attend Colney under strict rules since last week, for individual sessions, with limited numbers allowed at Colney to ensure social distancing and with players returning home straight away, without being able to eat or change on site.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor is hopeful a resumption can happen, if players are open-minded.
“If you’re asking me, with the type of guarantees or assurances that would give confidence to the players, then (returning is) achievable,” he told the Mirror.
“We’ve got to try it, see it if we can do it and see if we can return to some form of activity. But it’s also being as careful and having as many assurances as possible that it’s achievable.
“We have to be open-minded. There’s a balance between what you hope can be done and what is realistic to achieve.”
Norwich have nine league games still to play, sitting six points from safety when football’s suspension started on March 13, as well as a home FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United.