Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says “good progress” is being made in the hope to bring football football back by mid-June.
Premier League clubs will vote on a return to training on Monday, with English football having been suspended since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I had some very constructive discussions on Thursday with the FA, the EFL and the Premier League,” Dowden told Sky News.
“We are working hard with them to try and get it back, aiming for mid-June, but the number one test if public safety.
“They, like a lot of other sports we’re looking at returning behind closed doors, have met with Public Health England several times to look at the safety.
“If we can sort that out then we will look to resume by mid-June. We’re making good progress.”
Dowden added there are plans for changes to the way some games are broadcast.
He said: “As part of that I’m hoping we can have something a bit more ambitious with some more free-to-air matches for people to watch from home because that would be helpful in terms of discouraging people from leaving their home to watch it.”
Dowden’s comments follow a warning from Newcastle boss Steve Bruce that players will need until the end of June to be fully fit and ready to go. The football predictions with Bodog are suggesting a difficult end to the season for the Toon, but one that may still see them survive.
Bruce told the Sunday Telegraph: “If we were doing pre-season, we would have six weeks and probably have six friendly games to get them ready for the first league match.
“So, we need a good stretch of time here to get them ready. Certainly once we get into stage two, that is vitally important. We need enough preparation to get these players into shape or they are just going to fall down like a pack of cards.
“Most of the managers have the same concerns. We would need at least six weeks. I don’t see how we can play games until the back end of June.”
The top two flights of German football returned last weekend, with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich both easing to victory.