• Premier League needs to consider July start date, says Neville

    Manchester United great Gary Neville

    Gary Neville has said the Premier League should be looking at a July restart date, despite the government having cleared the league to return on June 1.

    The English top flight has been suspended since March amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and has been debating a number of approaches to resuming play.

    On Monday, the government published a 50-page document for lifting the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in England, which could see the Premier League restart on June 1.

    The document was released one day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a roadmap for the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions in England.

    Neville, though, believes Johnson’s announcement did not help clarify matters and there are far too many unknowns remaining to resume play early next month.

    “I don’t think anybody is clear, in football or in the country,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ ‘The Football Show’.

    “You’ve all seen the fallout of the rambling mess we had to witness on Sunday night,” the ex-Manchester United defender continued.

    “It became a little bit clearer yesterday with the further info that was released, but I think the Premier League were hanging their hat on further guidance that they didn’t get.

    “Maybe at this moment in time they need to be thinking on a July start rather than a June start. We’re getting closer and closer to a deadline.”

    One of the biggest points of contention in the Premier League’s “Project Restart” initiative has been the usage of neutral venues, with a number of clubs near the bottom of the league having voiced their opposition.

    The league’s potential resumption was also put into question on Sunday when Brighton confirmed that three players had tested positive for Covid-19.

    “Despite all of the measures that we’ve been taking over the past few weeks, where the players haven’t been involved in any significant training at all, we’ve still suffered another player testing positive for the virus,” Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said.

    As the Premier League continues to debate its potential return to action, the Bundesliga is set to become the first major league in Europe to resume play on Saturday.

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