Search

Coronavirus: Selected Premier League matches set for neutral venues

PUBLISHED: 17:19 29 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:19 29 May 2020

Detail of the No Room for Racism logo on the matchday ball ahead of a Premier League match

Detail of the No Room for Racism logo on the matchday ball ahead of a Premier League match

PA Wire/PA Images

At least five Premier League matches have been earmarked to be played at neutral venues by police if the competition resumes, plus any further games where Liverpool could win the title.

The Reds’ match against Everton on the weekend of June 19-22 could be the first possible opportunity to seal the title if Manchester City slip up against Arsenal on June 17, and the Merseyside derby is one of five which has already been requested to be moved by the hosting police force.

There are also four others set to be moved to a neutral venue – Manchester City’s home matches versus Liverpool and Newcastle, Manchester United v Sheffield United and Newcastle v Liverpool. But more may have to follow if there is a game where the championship is still on the line.

It is understood the Premier League is not expecting further matches to be added to the list, even though London mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed concerns about supporters congregating in the city.

The UK’s football policing lead, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts of South Yorkshire Police, said in a statement released to PA: “Our discussions with the Premier League throughout this process have been positive, with a shared focus on the priority of public health.

“As such we have reached a consensus that balances the needs of football, while also minimising the demand on policing. The majority of remaining matches will be played, at home and away as scheduled, with a small number of fixtures taking place at neutral venues, which, contrary to some reports, have yet to be agreed.

“The views and agreement of forces which host Premier League clubs have been sought and where there were concerns, the Premier League has been supportive in providing flexibility in arranging alternative venues where requested.

“This plan will be kept continually under review to ensure public health and safety and a key part of this is for supporters to continue to respect the social distancing guidelines, and not to attend or gather outside the stadiums.”

You may also want to watch:

None of the clubs set to be involved in matches at neutral venues have made any comment so far, with the subject set to be discussed again when clubs gather for a meeting on June 4.

The Premier League released a statement saying its ambition was to complete the season on a home-and-away basis “where possible”.

It added: “We are working with our clubs to ensure risks are assessed and minimised, while co-operating with the police at a local and national level.

“Discussions with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and UK Football Policing Unit have been positive and are continuing. We are prepared for all outcomes and have a neutral venue contingency.”

It is understood the contingency not only covers requests for matches to be moved by individual forces on safety or security grounds, but is also in place to cater for the potential for the imposition of localised lockdowns which could force matches away from their original venues.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber, who has been one of the most vocal opponents of matches being played at neutral venues because of the effect on sporting integrity, said he expected his side to play all their remaining home matches at the Amex Stadium.

“Our position from the start has always been that we would prefer all matches to be played in the grounds in which they were originally designated,” he said.

“But I think we’ve got to give credit to the Premier League, the police and Government for listening to our arguments about not having all of the games at neutral grounds and doing what they can to support the integrity of the competition, and the sporting fairness of the competition, by having the majority of the remaining 92 games played where they should be played.

“We all took a pragmatic view at yesterday’s meeting as far as we could because we don’t know specifically which games might be affected that we may have to compromise.

“And if that means that the vast majority of games can go ahead at the places that they’re intended to go ahead at, that’s fantastic and it’s a very, very significantly better picture than when you and I were talking on this subject a month ago.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Latest East London Sports News

11:30

The Football Association’s Baroness Sue Campbell is ‘optimistic’ some crowds may be allowed at next season’s Women’s Super League, as well as other sports.

11:30

ACE O5 FC of Tower Hamlets claimed their third title in four years in the Inner London Football League.

11:30

Here is my player ratings from West Ham United’s late 3-2 victory over Chelsea in their second match back at the London Stadium since the Premier League restarted.

09:00

With the Premier League back in action after more than three months away due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not celebrate with another sports quiz?

08:40

West Ham United manager David Moyes has heaped praised on the performances of Michail Antonio and was pleased to see the attacker finally get his reward as he netted in their 3-2 victory over Chelsea.

Yesterday, 23:46

West Ham United manager David Moyes says taking their chances was the biggest difference as they beat Chelsea 3-2 for their first victory since the Premier League restarted.

Following two false starts, it was third time lucky for the hard-working Hammers as they picked up their first precious points since Project Restart began with this welcome and wonderful win over Frank Lampard’s high-flying Blues at London Stadium.

Yesterday, 19:24

Newcomers James Bracey and Dan Lawrence stole the spotlight as England’s leading red-ball players went head-to-head on day one of a rare intra-squad clash at the Ageas Bowl.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The UK Government has launched a campaign to shine a light on businesses and employees across the country who have responded to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in remarkable ways and are now going back to business.

Veterans are providing vital skills across a range of projects to help the country tackle the current coronavirus outbreak. From helping to build Nightingale Hospitals to delivering essential supplies to those who are shielding, they have helped thousands of people across the country. We take a look at how one such veteran is helping out.

Teachers, parents, pupils and support workers at schools across England have been back in the familiar surroundings for the past three weeks. Here we take a look at how things have worked.

Most read sport

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser