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Bottom six clubs hold Premier League to ransom

The proposal to play the remaining Premier League fixtures on neutral grounds continues to dominate football’s agenda.

Under the Premier League’s constitution, 14 of the 20 member teams must approve any plan.

And the talking is continuing with heavy pressure being brought in the threatened clubs by the top outfits the vote – if it comes to that – will be desperately close.

There have already been hours and hours of Premier League conference calls, but insiders claim these are largely going around in circles as divisions form on what is best for each individual club.

Norwich City, Aston Villa, Watford, Bournemouth, Brighton and  West Ham all face the risk of relegation to the Championship while Newcastle and Southampton are not completely safe either and could be sucked back into a relegation dog fight.

Those most at risk have led a challenge about whether the integrity of the competition would be undermined if it was not completed in conditions similar to the three-quarters of the season already played.

Those games, before football was suspended, took place at packed stadiums, which are unlikely to be seen again until next year. The bottom six clubs believe the risk of relegation should be removed this season.

The Premier league’s struggle to reach a consensus highlights the absence of its longtime executive chairman Richard Scudamore, a towering figure known, until his retirement in 2018, for his ability to force through changes in a league often beset by divisions.

His replacement, Richard Masters, a longtime league employee, confirmed in the role only a few months ago, has yet to stamp his own authority on the divided club chairmen.

The failure to reach a consensus has stoked fear among some to believe that time to complete the season will evaporate before there is an agreement believing some clubs are playing for time. Officials believe the current season needs to be completed by 2nd August at the latest to meet UEFA deadlines.

On Monday night Paul Barber, the chief executive of Brighton & Hove Albion acknowledged his club’s attitude in the talks was born out of “self-interest.”

Brighton opposes a proposal to play the remainder of the season at neutral venues, to avoid clusters of fans gathering outside stadiums.

“Neutral venues just simply changes the nature of the competition and what we would consider to be unfair and not the right way to go,” Barber told BBC Radio. “My job is to represent Brighton & Hove Albion, and our interests are staying in the Premier League.”

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About Sean Whetstone

I am Season Ticket Holder in West stand lower at the London Stadium and before that, I used to stand in the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower Row R seat 159 in the Boleyn Ground and in the Eighties I stood on the terraces of the old South Bank. I am a presenter on the West Ham Podcast called MooreThanJustaPodcast.co.uk. A Blogger on WestHamTillIdie.com a member of the West Ham Supporters Advisory Board (SAB), Founder of a Youtube channel called Mr West Ham Football at http://www.youtube.com/MrWestHamFootball, I am also the associate editor here at Claret and Hugh. Life Long singer of bubbles! Come on you Irons! Follow me at @Westhamfootball on twitter

5 comments on “Bottom six clubs hold Premier League to ransom

  1. anybody thinking about half a team gets infected…? Even 8th place could be relegated in worst case, it seems no team currently placed 8-14 thought about that. COY.

    • Second highest death rate in the world and the people who allowed Cheltenham to go ahead now trying to bring a football game near to you to in my opinion to appease the masses because of lockdown. If it goes ahead and goes wrong the consequences for the premier league and probably the government would I think be disastrous. As they used to say see ya !

  2. I would say that it is the top six clubs holding the bottom six to ransom for their own selfish reasons. No matter what the fans can’t watch – neutral grounds? Players out of contract? Awful. But worst of all – the top six have a jolly for cups and European places with no risk at all – party time. We face relegation and loss of players, finance, everything with no reward but status quo.

  3. I doubt this season will be completed for health reasons. It’s also unlikely next season will start in August. The FA needs to have an alternative plan for a shortened 20-21.

  4. Like Hammerpete imagine those close to European places from top down will also have an agenda to void the season.

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