Premier League to scrap neutral venue idea after Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham weigh in

Premier League to scrap neutral venue idea after Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham weigh in

The Premier League has scrapped plans to resume the season at five neutral stadiums after a large majority of the clubs vetoed the idea. It was initially thought that those struggling at the foot of the table were behind the objections as home advantage could be key in a relegation dogfight.

But Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all opposed the plan as they would have several issues with in-stadium sponsors.

The Daily Mail claim the Premier League are now happy for teams to travel home and away so long as they stick to the strict criteria which will be rolled out.

One major worry was the thought of supporters turning up in large numbers to cheer their teams on from outside the grounds.

However, that could also have happened if the matches were played on neutral turf.

Police forces across the country have been consulted and assurances have been given that enough stewards will be provided to avoid putting extra stress on the emergency services.

The country’s most senior football police officer, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, had previously told clubs moaning about losing their home advantage to “get a grip”.

But his stance has now changed as he is open to allowing all 20 clubs to in familiar territory.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Football Policing Lead Mr Roberts said: “Following a positive meeting between police, government and football last night, we will be jointly exploring a range of options to identify a way forward, which minimises any risks to public safety and unnecessary pressure on public services, but facilitates a sensible restart to the season, to support the economic and morale benefits associated with the sport.”

But London Mayor Sadiq Khan is against seeing top division football return amid the global pandemic.

A spokesperson for the London Mayor told the Evening Standard: “Sadiq is extremely keen for the Premier League and professional sport in general to resume. However, with the country still in the grips of this crisis, and hundreds of people dying every day, he believes that it is too early to be discussing the resumption of the Premier League and top-flight sport in the capital.

“As a Liverpool fan, Sadiq of course wants the Premier League to return, but it can only happen when it is safe to do so, and it cannot place any extra burden on the NHS and emergency services.”

Published at Tue, 12 May 2020 14:22:00 +0000