sport news Project Restart is on the rocks: The five main obstacles to football's comeback

Premier League clubs will speak again on Monday to try to find a way forward for Project Restart, with the resumption of top-flight football in England on a knife edge. 

Although all clubs say they want to complete the 2019-20 season, there are a number of hurdles that must be cleared before they can look with confidence at starting again on June 12. 

There are serious misgivings among the players about the safety of contact sport during the coronavirus pandemic, while the bottom six clubs in the division fear the plan to play at neutral grounds puts them at greater risk of relegation. 

Sergio Aguero has expressed unease about returning to action during the pandemic

Sergio Aguero has expressed unease about returning to action during the pandemic

These are just two of the many matters to be considered, with testing and Government policy also high on the agenda, while bosses look closely at how successful the return of the Bundesliga – planned for May 16 – proves to be.

Earlier on Friday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden warned the game is yet to get the 'green light' to return with new talks between government and the Premier League arranged for next Thursday.

Here Sportsmail examines the five main obstacles facing Project Restart.

Getting the players on board

The executives can conduct negotiations for as long as they like but without the support of the players, there is no game. 

Sergio Aguero is one of a number of leading Premier League stars to express unease about returning to action during the pandemic – the Manchester City said players were 'scared' to do so – while Sportsmail revealed on Friday that players and staff had been asked to sign individual coronavirus agreements as part of Project Restart, a move that has sparked major legal concerns. 

A host of top-flight stars have already discussed not signing the form amid fears over where it would leave them should they test positive for COVID-19. 

A major player rebellion risks ending Project Restart before it has properly begun.

Aston Villa (pictured) and Brighton have voiced concerns about playing at neutral venues

Aston Villa (pictured) and Brighton have voiced concerns about playing at neutral venues

Promotion and relegation/neutral grounds

The issue of venues feels like a big sticking point for a potential relaunch. If the matches must be played at neutral grounds for safety reasons, then teams in danger of relegation fear it will harm their chances of staying up. 

Aston Villa and Brighton have already voiced their concerns, and the other four clubs in the bottom six are thought to share them. 

Monday's Premier League

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