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Premier League clubs are set to complete the / season in neutral grounds rather than in their own stadiums , according to reports.
according to the Mirror, the plans presented to the clubs at Friday’s summit meeting included “between eight and ten neutral and approved” top-flight stadiums.
They are likely to be stadiums such as Brighton’s Amex, St Mary’s in Southampton, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and West Ham’s London Stadium as they are all modern and outside the main city center.
It means that Everton are unlikely to play at Goodison Park again this term – and Liverpool will not have the chance to seal the title at Anfield.
Neutral grounds and the morality of trying to play and train amid the coronavirus pandemic are clear obstacles facing “Project Restart” in the next few weeks.
The Mirror suggests that some clubs are open to the idea of fixtures at neutral venues, with others opposed.
And a further report elaborates on that apparent difference of opinion on elements of the plans.
John Cross wrote: “Big clubs made a passionate presentation at Friday’s summit about why they must finish the campaign – and stressed if they do not complete the games then it will also leave next season surrounded by uncertainty.
“But they also stressed they must avoid a ‘doomsday scenario’ of ending the season because of the huge impact it would have on clubs their community staff a nd could put thousands of jobs at risk as with any other business.
“Relegation-threatened clubs fighting for survival are against the Premier League’s plan to use between ‘eight and ten approved’ top flight grounds but all games would be staged in a neutral venue meaning every club loses home advantage. “
Safety measures such as face masks in training, sterilized footballs and twice-a-week tests were all in the medical report
also presented to the (clubs) during Friday’s meeting.
Further measures included players arriving at training grounds in kit and wear masks at all times – and ensuring they Don’t shower or eat on the premises.
If clubs want to provide players with food, it must be delivered as a takeaway to players’ cars.
Only essential medical treatment would be allowed, with all medical staff in full PP E and all meetings and reviews must take place virtually and off-site.
A statement from the Premier League released after yesterday’s meeting said: “[T] he Premier League’s priority is the health and safety of players, coaches, managers, club staff, supporters and the wider community.
“The League and clubs are considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with Government guidance, under expert medical advice and after Consultation with players and managers.
“The League welcomes the creation of the Government medical working group for a return of elite sport, which met for the first time this morning.
“No decisions were taken at today’s Shareholders’ meeting and clubs exchanged views on the information provided regarding” Project Restart ”.
“It was agreed that the PFA, LMA, players and managers are key to this process and will be further consulted.
“The clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 37650 / 38 season, maintaining integrity of the competition and welcomes the Government’s support. ”
The Premi er League is set to hold another videoconference at the end of next week to discuss the situation further.
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