A political football: Players were accused of 'not doing their bit' now the government urges them to lift Britain's mood

However loudly some clubs complain, however much the integrity of the competition suffers as a result, the Premier League might just have to accept that it is neutral venues or nothing.

If the police or local authorities decide there are particular stadia that don’t meet the coronavirus-adjusted criteria on safety, they won’t be allowed to hold matches.

That means if just one fails the test, home advantage, for what it’s worth in a "behind closed doors" world, would have to be on offer to no one.

And if the League aspires to play all of its final round of games at the same time, on the last day of the season, that would require 10 eligible stadia; what if only nine or even fewer are passed as safe?

Wembley maybe, Twickenham, St George’s Park?

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan (left) and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish battle for the ball during the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London. Credit: PA

There are several clubs who see neutral venues as a deal-breaker and will raise those concerns at the next meeting of all clubs on Friday.

But we're getting way ahead of ourselves here because there are any number of hoops to jump through before we get even close to kicking a ball; not least the realisation by players that they’re being pushed into something many are still quite anxious about, especially after watching the number of deaths reported every day and noting that Belgium, the Netherlands and now France have all cancelled their seasons - cancelled because their governments don’t believe it’s safe.

In a sense the Premier League is fortunate that it has the benefit of watching others trying to get football restarted first.

Germany had planned to kick off on May 9 but that was before a relaxation of lockdown measures saw a rise in infections there.

Joshua Zirkzee, Robert Lewandowski and Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich participate in a training session on Monday, April 6. Credit: AP

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to announce any adjustments to her exit roadmap on Thursday and that could mean football is delayed further or potentially abandoned altogether.

If it’s the latter surely that would mean the end for any ambitions the Premier League had to finish the season, despite the government’s desire to give the nation something to cheer about?

However, if the Premier League does agree to restart and crucially at neutral venues, at least that would reduce the likelihood of large groups of fans turning up at their home grounds.

In safety terms, Liverpool winning the title at Anfield just doesn’t bear thinking about.

But, of course, the fan related risks don’t end there.

Anfield has been the home of Liverpool F.C. since their formation in 1892. Credit: PA

When Boris Johnson decided football’s return was a much needed mood-lifter, that was on the premise that every game would be free to watch on the nation’s television sets.

Someone in Number 10’s policy unit didn’t quite understand how football in 2020 works.

One rights holder has put forward a proposal that the FA Cup quarters-finals should be the first games to be played and the first of those matches should be on the BBC.

Following that, the first weekend of Premier League matches could all be free-to-air, unencrypted by Sky and BT but then the proposal suggests normality would resume with the remaining games back behind a paywall.

Completely understandable but it would undoubtedly mean fans encouraged to break social distancing guidelines by getting together at a friend’s house to watch.

It probably felt like a good headline at the time, but even presuming the safety criteria is achieved, the detail hasn’t really been thought through.

It feels like a "policy for popularity" from a government who only a few weeks ago were kicking the Premier League and especially its players for "not doing their bit."

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