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Premier League set to restart on June 17 – reports

Arsenal v Manchester City – Premier League – Emirates Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

The Premier League will restart on June 17, according to reports.

Executives from the 20 top-flight clubs gathered for a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday, and it was reported that agreement was reached over the remaining rounds of games to be played.

Two rearranged matches – Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal – will be played first, before the first full round of games on the weekend of June 20 and 21, reports said.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was involved in Thursday's meeting

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters was involved in Thursday’s meeting (Mike Egerton/PA)

The last action in the Premier League was on March 9, before the competition was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 13.

Clubs voted unanimously on protocols for contact training on Wednesday, another step along the road to resumption.

Four individuals connected to three clubs tested positive for coronavirus in the league’s third round of testing, with 1,008 staff from Premier League clubs tested.

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One of the players who was found to have Covid-19 in the first round of tests – Watford defender Adrian Mariappa – is back in training, with his club sharing footage of him returning to action.

The picture is equally encouraging in the Championship, where only three positive results were returned from 1,030 tests.

Blackburn captain Elliott Bennett and two unnamed Fulham players were the ones to test positive.

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Blackburn confirmed Bennett had been tested on Monday and was found to have Covid-19, but was asymptomatic.

He will now isolate for seven days and will return to training on June 5 if he does not go on to develop symptoms, the club said.

Bennett said: “I feel fit and healthy. Hopefully this sends out a positive message to the community that perhaps many people have or have had the virus without showing any effects.

“I obviously would never have known if we hadn’t returned to training and taken the tests, because I don’t feel unwell and have got no symptoms whatsoever.

“There seems to have been a lot of hysteria about footballers returning to training, but it’s not a big deal at all. It’s the people who are seriously ill in hospital that we need to worry about, not footballers who are fit and healthy, and who aren’t showing any signs of being unwell.”