PFA Chief Recommends Shortened Halves When Season Resumes

"They're not stupid. They would have to be satisfied that it's safe to return, and it's their choice,"

Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor says clubs should discuss the idea of playing halves of less than 45 minutes.

Gordon Taylor suggests that there be less than 45 minutes halves so that players can manage their workload when matches resume after the lockdown suspension.

20 Premier Leauge clubs had a conference call last week where they discussed plans of resuming training this month which will be followed by a possible return to action in June, but several players have expressed their concerns.

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Soccer in England has been halted since mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over 190 000 people in the United Kingdom and has killed 28 734 people.

“They’re not stupid. They would have to be satisfied that it’s safe to return, and it’s their choice,” Taylor told the BBC.

He also said that steps to reduce players’ fatigue in a potentially cramped schedule should also be considered.

“We know what propositions have been put, what ideas have been put… the possibility of having more substitutes, games possibly not being the full 45 minutes each way, with talks of neutral stadiums.”

“Ideally, you want to keep the integrity of the competition, and of course, that was about playing home and away and having the same squad of players as before it was suspended.”

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“So there’s lots of points to be made, but above all, can the seasons be completed and can they be completed safely?”

English Football League chairman Rick Parry said that there haven’t been any discussions about reducing the halves but he is open to the idea.

“I guess the aim will be to reduce the strain on players. I don’t think we should be ruling out any creative ideas considering the challenges we face,” Parry told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

“We may end up with a compressed fixture schedule… Perhaps the thinking is that this might help players with recovering and maybe reduce the likelihood of injury. We haven’t studied it.”



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