The UK government set out what it called their roadmap out of the Coronavirus pandemic this week and included in the details was information surrounding sporting events.
Firstly, it should be noted that anything happening with sport will take place behind closed doors, we won’t have anything other than the bare minimum attending sport for a long time. Secondly, it should be said that sport is grouped in with many other different relaxations, and these will all come back together, there is no route for sport without everything else.
Sport to Return at Phase 3
The UK government has an alert system in place, from 1 to 5. These represent the threat level to the UK, when at level 5 the Coronavirus is widespread and causing serious problems, when at level 1, there is no imminent threat to the UK from the virus.
At the moment, we are at level 4, although the message has been that we are closer to level 3 than level 5, and on the way down. The moment when we move from level 4 to level 3 will bring a number of further relaxations for the UK, and this includes the resumption of sport.
A conditional date on this has been set as June 1, although this can be changed at any point and moved back if the country is not ready. When the Prime Minister announces that we have moved into level 3, sport, and many other activities can begin.
What Does This Mean for Racing?
The horse racing industry had originally planned to race on the last two weekends of May, which now won’t happen. However, by putting those plans together it shows that they are ready to resume as soon as possible. Those who bet on horse racing are likely to be one of the first to see their sport come back, as the horses are being kept fit and ready to go.
Another racing industry likely to be back straight away is the greyhound racing industry. They have been given the green light to commence trialling, something needed to work out which grade each dog runs in, and a way to get the dogs fit. This means when we get to June 1, greyhounds should be able to run straight away.
What Does This Mean for the Premier League?
If you bet on football, you will be seeing other leagues around Europe make plans for a return, but what about the Premier League? They still require authorisation to train together, which hasn’t been granted. Until that comes, the start of the season cannot be decided.
Rumours suggest a Premier League return of June 6, which would be allowed if the government had moved the country into level 3 by then, which they hope to do. However, that would mean the clubs would need to be together for at least one week, probably two, during May before the easing comes into play. This means a special rule will have to be drawn up for football, so keep your eye out for that one if you are awaiting the return of football in England.