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LMA chief tells rebel Premier League clubs they face 2019/20 season cancellation if vote not carried

4 months ago
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A stark warning for Premier League clubs thinking of rebelling on Monday.

A meeting of the 20 clubs is scheduled following Boris Johnson’s Sunday (10 May) briefing / announcement, which is widely expected to include the green light for the Premier League to plan a restart, providing it meets certain criteria.

It has always been accepted that any moves to see out the remaining 2019/20 games would have to be behind closed doors.

However, it has also become clear that the use of neutral venues appears to now be a non-negotiable factor as well, this would largely be to with helping to ensure large numbers of fans don’t congregate any stadium where fan-free matches would be taking place.

A vote is due to take place on Monday (11 May) on proposals for a return to football and any decision needs the support of at least 14 clubs.

League Managers Association (LMA) CEO Richard Bevan now warning rebel Premier League clubs that the 2019/20 season could be cancelled, if clubs do not agree to play at neutral venues.

Asked if a vote against using neutral venues would lead to the season’s cancellation, League Managers Association (LMA) CEO Richard Bevan told BBC Radio 4:

“Yes, I think that probably is correct.

“The government, if they haven’t already, will be making it clear that home matches with densely populated stadia, really puts into question whether social distancing rules can be adhered to.”

The LMA chief says that time isn’t on the side of Premier League clubs and that ‘training needs to be in place very soon’ if a playing return by mid-June is to be achievable.

A number of Premier League clubs with relegation worries are said to oppose using neutral grounds because it takes away any home advantage (despite no fans allowed anyway) in remaining games. Brighton are the only one though to have gone public with this.

The reality appears to be a lot of clubs near the bottom would love to see an agreement on no relegation for club this season but that would surely never be agreed by 14 or more of the 20 PL clubs. The TV companies would surely demand compensation due to so many pointless games with a relegation risk removed, plus any integrity of the season being completed would disappear, as how can you have champions if you don’t have relegation as well?

If / when the government say yes on Sunday to the return of football, that will be the game changer.

Up to now the Premier League clubs have only dealt with hypotheticals but now will be the crunch, if enough clubs do rebel and it leads to an impasse of not being able to complete the season. There will be massive issues for the Premier League, especially financial, plus at a time of supposedly pulling together, it would look abysmal if clubs can’t agree on a plan due to selfish self-interest.

All this in stark contrast to the likes of Germany, where clubs seem able to come together for the greater good and are set to restart the Bundesliga season later this month.

When you build a league built based on pure greed and self-interest, such as is the case with the Premier League, you can’t be surprised by anything…

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