The UK government says it is “opening the door” for the return of football in England in June.
The news comes as a huge relief to football fans who have eagerly awaited the return of professional football, especially the await to crown Liverpool as champions which looked a dead cert before the Covid-19 pandemic took place.
The Premier League met on Monday to discuss “Project Restart” and hopes for a return to action on 12 June, with matches played behind closed doors.
And Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said their meeting today with the Football Association, Premier League and English Football League had “progressed plans”.
“We all agreed that we will only go ahead if it is safe to do so and the health and welfare of players, coaches and staff comes first,” said Dowden.
“It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalise the detail of their plans, and there is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.
“The government and our medical experts will continue to offer guidance and support.”
He added that plans to return should “ensure finances from the game’s resumption supports the wider football family”.
However, plans could be stalled as England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said: “There will be small, carefully measured, step-wise approaches to see what can be achieved safely. The first of those is to return safely to training, still observing social distancing.
“We will have to see how that goes before we can even think about moving on to the return of competitive football matches.”
The Premier League has been suspended since 13 March because of the pandemic and other leagues followed suit.
The club’s footballers have so far been limited to their own isolated training from home but Premier League bosses hope a first phase of team training, under strict guidelines and restricted to 75 minutes, can begin next week.
Most teams have nine fixtures left to play with Liverpool 25 points clear of Manchester City.