Government to hold Premier League talks next week as Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham await restart

Senior government officials will hold a meeting with the Premier League next week and are “hopeful” a plan can be agreed for matches to return.

Premier League clubs will hold a videoconference on Monday to discuss Project Restart in further detail.

However, no formal vote will take place at Monday’s meeting on the proposal – but sides could be asked to approve some elements of the plans.

And Oliver Dowden, secretary for digital, culture, media and sport, has this morning confirmed he will talk to the Premier League, the EFL and FA next week about progressing plans for games to resume behind closed doors.

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He also claims the government wants football to come back because it will be “good for the nation” but stressed that public safety “must come first”.

“It [Football] has not got the green light,” he told the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4.

“I met with the Premier League a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had two sessions, the first of which I chaired with the deputy chief medical officer, looking at how we could do this in a safe way.

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“But it’s not just the Premier League, the rest of football and other sports that could, potentially, take place behind closed doors.

“Public health and safety will come first and if we can get a plan that works then I would like then I would like us to go ahead with it because, I think, it will be good for the nation and good for football as a whole.

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“I will certainly be meeting, on Thursday, with the Premier League, the English Football League and the FA and I’m really hopeful we can get this up and running.

“But public safety must come first so it’s only if we are confident of that, that will be able to proceed.”