EUROPE'S major leagues are ready to give football fans a huge lockdown tonic – with the Prem and especially the Bundesliga firming up plans to resume action.
England's top flight clubs will tuck into "Project Restart at a meeting on Friday while the German League could resume as early as May 9 – although in Spain LaLiga chiefs are being more cautious.
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As Arsenal, Brighton and West Ham re-launch training here amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Italian government has told Serie A clubs they can start practice sessions again on May 18.
The Premier League is targeting a June 8 resumption of matches.
And the hope is to finish late in July so that Uefa can conclude the Champions League and Europa League the following month.
All this will be discussed when Prem clubs have their latest video conference call on Friday, with May 18 likely for a wide-scale return to training.
Every game will be behind closed doors but league bosses are expected to want some games on free-to-air TV.
But details to work out include a list of "approved stadiums".
This could even mean neutral venues being used.
But although the government believe a return to playing would be a significant boost for the nation's morale, they will only give the green light if all health criteria are met.
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Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I personally have been in talks with the Premier League with a view to getting football up and running as soon as possible in order to support the whole football community.”
Meanwhile, the EFL are stressing the importance of proper testing for players before any return can be considered.
Elsewhere, the Bundesliga seems best set to return next month, also behind closed doors, if the national government and federal states agree.
The league's chief executive Christian Seifert said: "It is not in our hands.
"If we should start on May 9, we are ready. If it is later we will be ready again."
And as for LaLiga, Spanish Health minister Salvador Illa said: "It would be reckless for me to say now that professional football will be back before the summer.
"We will continue to monitor the evolution (of the virus) and the guidelines we will present will indicate how different activities can return to a new normalcy."
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