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Green light for contact

Premier League takes big step for return on June 20

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ALL CLEAR: Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (left), Leroy Sane (centre) and John Stones during a training session at the City Football Academy.  Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

ALL CLEAR: Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (left), Leroy Sane (centre) and John Stones during a training session at the City Football Academy. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

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ALL CLEAR: Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (left), Leroy Sane (centre) and John Stones during a training session at the City Football Academy. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

The 20 English top-flight sides have voted unanimously in favour of protocols for a return to contact training, which is expected to start as soon as today.

A raft of issues including a restart date and curtailment will be discussed when Premier League clubs gather again today.

There is a huge amount of ground to cover in that meeting, with the possibility that clubs may settle on a restart date. June 12 had initially been reported, but managers and players have pushed for an extra week, with June 20 now expected to be the starting point.

Clubs will need to settle on a curtailment model to be used in the event of a setback which prevents the 2019-20 season being finished in a reasonable time frame, with reports that clubs are keen on getting the new season started in September.

Where the matches will be played will also be looked at. There is also the chance clubs will use a 'hybrid' model where some games are played in their own stadiums and others moved to neutral venues on police advice.

Four individuals from three clubs have tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing. The league said 1,008 club staff had been tested in all on Monday and Tuesday.

There will be conversations too around broadcasting issues, the fixture list and the possibility of staggered kick-off times.