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Corporate boxes may be used as changing rooms

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'The Premier League is likely to look toward the success of the Bundesliga returning first during the pandemic.' (stock photo)

'The Premier League is likely to look toward the success of the Bundesliga returning first during the pandemic.' (stock photo)

PA

'The Premier League is likely to look toward the success of the Bundesliga returning first during the pandemic.' (stock photo)

Premier League clubs have discussed players changing for matches in corporate boxes to maintain social distancing when football resumes next month.

With the 92 remaining matches being played behind closed doors from June 17, extra facilities may be needed at some stadiums. It is understood the dressing-rooms at Norwich and Aston Villa are among the tightest for space.

Using other facilities in stadiums has been raised, including empty hospitality boxes which circle grounds. This would allow for a single player or a few players to change while sticking to social-distancing rules.

The Premier League is likely to look toward the success of the Bundesliga returning first during the pandemic. There, teams have strict protocols to resume the season safely and are permitted to spend 30 to 40 minutes in the dressing-rooms at a time.

Teams travel in several buses to keep players apart and walk out of the tunnel separately, without shaking hands. Players in Germany are also using facilities around the ground to change.

Meanwhile, Premier League clubs are yet to approve a plan for relegation should the season be curtailed. Talks are likely to touch on what would happen if the Championship could not complete its season, with some top-flight clubs saying that promotion and relegation should only occur if both divisions completed their campaigns.

Settling places on unweighted points per game if the season cannot restart or has to stop again has been touted as the most likely scenario.

Top-flight clubs will discuss the issue at their meeting on June 4, ahead of an anticipated vote on how placings and relegation would be decided in such an eventuality.

There remains a feeling among some clubs that relegation should not happen if the season cannot be completed, particularly as sides could slip in and out of the bottom three weekly after a restart.

Hopeful

The Premier League remains hopeful that supporters will be allowed back into stadiums at some stage during the 2020-'21 season. League CEO Richard Masters, said: "There is optimism we will see fans back in the stadiums next season and it may happen on a phased basis."

Masters delivered a far less positive update on whether the Premier League would offer financial assistance to lower league clubs in danger of going out of business if football is played behind closed doors next season.

"Until we have been able to get back playing, until we have a clear plan to start season 2020-'21, we are dealing with our own situation," he said.

The Var system would still be used in all remaining games. "Var has its own social-distancing issues," Masters added. "But we think there is a way of completing the season with Var." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk