Premier League plans pre-match tributes to coronavirus victims

Premier League clubs returned to training in May

A minute’s silence to remember those who have died with coronavirus is likely to take place before the first games after the Premier League restart.

The acknowledgement of the impact of the pandemic and the efforts of frontline workers is expected at the opening two games on Wednesday and the first full round of fixtures.

Heart-shaped badges in tribute to the NHS are also set to be worn on kits.

A vote on return-to-play protocols will take place at a shareholders’ meeting.

Thursday’s discussions will include medical and operational plans for the resumption of games, as well as player eligibility issues.

The matchday operations plans include strict limits on those allowed into stadiums, with the finalised figure understood to be about 300.

There will be certain zones of a ground, including the tunnel and pitchside, where further restrictions on capacity are placed.

The hygiene standards will include corner flags, goalposts, substitution boards and match balls being disinfected before and after each fixture.

Some extra disinfection is likely to take place during matches, such as the substitution board after it is used, and at half-time, while other work will be carried out during drinks breaks if they are permitted by the league.

The medical protocols stipulate how squads and coaching staff must travel to and from games, observing social distancing.

Clubs are also likely to discuss the broadcast “enhancements” and plans for fan engagement while no crowds are allowed.

The fixture schedule for the first three rounds was confirmed on Friday, with 33 of the remaining 92 matches to be shown on free-to-air platforms.

What Match of the Day looked like the last time BBC broadcast the top flight in 1988

The Premier League will resume on 17 June when Aston Villa host Sheffield United at 18:00 BST, with Manchester City v Arsenal at 20:15.

All levels of football have been suspended since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Teams returned to contact training at the end of May. In the latest round of testing at Premier League clubs, one person tested positive for Covid-19.