Newcastle United move one step closer to returning to Premier League action following 'unanimous' vote
Premier League clubs have unanimously approved the return of contact training - a big step in the quest to get fixtures back underway next month.
All 20 top-flight clubs voted on advancing to stage two of Project Restart, with players now able to tackle and practise in small-side games.
A statement read: “Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.
“Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.
“The Premier League’s priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants.
“Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible and players and staff will continue to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.
“Stage Two of the Return to Training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA and the Government.
“Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season, when conditions allow.”
Newcastle United staff and players returned to the training last week, though were placed under strict guidelines.
The Premier League want to resume fixtures in June behind closed doors, with Steve Bruce's side having nine matches left to play – plus the FA Cup to consider.
On Thursday, clubs will meet again to hold further discussions – including the league's contingency plans on relegation, the issue of the use of points-per-game, and the award of the Premier League title, if the season has to be curtailed.