The resumption of the 2019/20 Premier League season appears to be edging closer as players have begun training in small groups, but only while maintaining social distancing for now.
This has been seen as the first major step towards completing the campaign in England's top flight. However, this isn't to say that problems don't continue to arise. Players and managers continue to voice their concerns, while further positive tests for anyone involved will not only act as a health and safety reminder for everyone involved, but it will also impact the Premier League's timetable.
Here's the latest updates on Project Restart this Wednesday....
Premier League Clubs Discussing Providing Financial Aid for EFL Teams
Of course, the financial impact of the coronavirus has - and continues to be - monumental, but while every club has struggled during this period, it is the clubs lower down the leagues that could feel the pinch the most.
As a result, the Daily Mail report that Premier League clubs are in talks regarding a 'lucrative financial package' for teams in the EFL who are struggling to stay afloat. The Daily Mail note that 'a number' of top-flight clubs acknowledge that they have a duty to protect and support clubs from the lower leagues.
Moreover, it is said that the EFL are keen to see England's top division complete the season - perhaps even more than the Premier League do, because this will impact how much support they receive.
A source from the Premier League told the Daily Mail: "It is inevitable that we will have to push money down to the other 72 clubs. There's certainly a willingness to do that.
"If we don't, then a few clubs will be gone. The EFL need us to finish the season maybe more than we do. There will be many that struggle if we don't make a decision soon, or more importantly play."
With Premier League clubs facing up a £340m rebate to broadcasters, the amount of money EFL clubs receive has not yet been decided. There is a need to act quickly, however, as 'a number' of clubs even as high up as the Championship are facing uncertain financial futures, and are struggling to pay wages at the end of the month.
Danny Rose Speaks Out Again
Danny Rose has previously opened up on how he feels about the Premier League's plans to complete the 2019/20 season, and the English left-back has now raised his concerns once more.
Following the decision to allow players to return to training in small groups as part of Phase One, the Newcastle man, on loan from Tottenham, has claimed that players are being treated as though they are 'guinea pigs or lab rats.'
He told the Lockdown Tactics: "Just off the fact that people are suggesting we should go back to football, like we're guinea pigs or lab rats. We're going to experiment this phase and see if it works or not.
"I can just imagine people at home saying, 'Well they earn that amount of money so they should be going back'. For stuff like that I think is it worth the hassle? I could be potentially risking my health for people's entertainment and that's not something I want to be involved in if I'm honest."
Watford & Burnley Confirm Positive Tests for Coronavirus
The Premier League confirmed on Tuesday that on Sunday 17 and Monday 18 May, 748 tests were carried out for the coronavirus - with six players and staff testing positive.
Watford have since taken to their official website to confirm that three of the six players and staff to test positive are associated with the club. Of the three, one is a player and the two are staff.
Similarly, Burnley have confirmed on their official website that assistant manager Ian Woan has tested positive for COVID-19. The club further added that he is asymptomatic and is 'currently safe and well' at home.
Several Watford Players Choosing Not to Train
This comes after captain Troy Deeney explained that he wouldn't be returning to training because he doesn't want to put his young son at risk. Manager Nigel Pearson has also publicly expressed his concerns, saying that people are 'closing their eyes' to the threat.
With three players and staff testing positive, the athletes' concerns and unwillingness to train is understandable and the club will have to work hard to assure everyone involved that training can take place in a safe environment without a high risk of being infected.
Source : 90min