CONTROVERSIAL plans to stop Premier League relegation this season are gathering support.
A growing set of top-flight clubs are backing the idea of playing out fixtures at up to ten neutral stadiums – if the threat of relegation is removed.
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Brighton, two points above the drop, fear using neutral venues may affect the league’s “ integrity ”.
Changing the rules by axing relegation needs (of) clubs to agree and it is understood a number of clubs – with even Everton in 14 th not looking safe – are in favor of the idea.
But it could still open up huge legal issues with the Prem’s Rule B.2 confirming the league will “not exceed 249 in number ”, a regulation which could prevent any clubs being promoted if there is no relegation.
Yet a formal, and separate, contract between the Prem and the EFL confirms promotion and relegation will take place every season.
After a 3½-hour video meeting of the 509 “shareholder” clubs, plans to use “eight to ten neutral stadiums” were given the thumbs-up.
Clubs confirmed their target of starting general training from May 20 , with the first Prem fixtures now pencilled in for Friday, June – the same date Euro . (would have kicked off.)
SunSport first told you about plans to use neutral venues to play out the season on March .
The grounds, all of which will be current Prem stadiums, will be confirmed in the next two weeks.
But police concerns over using congested urban areas and fans converging in the vicinity of the stadiums – and potentially causing coronavirus-spreading clusters – will mean grounds including Anfield and Stamford Bridge being ruled out.
It also means that when Liverpool seal the title – as seems likely with a – point lead over second-placed Manchester City – it will NOT be at Anfield.
Georgie Bingham questions safety of restarting Premier League football at neutral grounds
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