League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan says the 2019/20 Premier League season could be canceled if clubs do not agree to play in neutral venues.
The Premier League has been suspended since 13th March because of the Coronavirus. To resume, the PL “Project Restart plan” involves return actions in June for the season to be completed at the end of July. This plan will fit in with Uefa’s European competition plans.
The plan will require full training to kick off by 18th May. As Bevan puts it, “time isn’t on our side and training needs to be in place very soon.”
All 20 clubs are committed to playing the remaining 92 fixtures if and when it is safe to do so.
However, the reluctance of some clubs to play at neutral grounds presents the Premier League with a headache. Brighton, for instance, has said they are “not in favor” of using neutral venues. Their reason being it may affect the “integrity” of the league.
For this reason, a vote is set to take place on Monday on proposals for a return to football. The neutral stadium proposal needs 14 out of the 20 clubs to vote in favor for it to be adopted.
Asked if a vote against neutral venues would lead to the season’s cancellation, Bevan responded, “Yes, I think that probably is correct.”
More Premier League complications.
Hesitant by a few of the PL clubs to play at neutral grounds bring in complications to a League that has tried to remain united.
In pure number terms, 14 of the 20 clubs need to vote in favor of the neutral stadium proposal for it to be carried forward.
However, all through the COVID-19 outbreak, the Premier League desire is to complete the 2019/20 season. Given the six clubs at the bottom of the table are the most resistant to the proposal, if the rest vote in favor, the match will kick-off.
But, this will open up grievances that would not be easily settled. As happened so often, what seems a straightforward situation becomes complicated within a wink of an eye.