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Neutral grounds almost off the agenda

Clubs appear to have more or less conclusively won the “no neutral grounds” argument!

For weeks the issue dominated Project Restart and put it in serious doubt but it now seems the issue has more or less been put to bed.

The Premier League are reported to have told clubs they are hoping that no more than four matches will be held at neutral venues  and it seems that West Ham are not involved in any of them.

It’s the best piece of news to come out of the current circumstances as the clubs prepare to return although whether – with no crowds -it was ever going to prove a major advantage are debatable.

It seems police are now confident they can cope with any build up of fans outside stadiums which frankly, seemed a ludicrous idea in the first place when matches are available on TV

Sportsmail reports that top-flight official Bill Bush was moved to write to each of the 20 clubs after a statement from National Police Chiefs’ Council football lead officer Mark Roberts declared that six fixtures were set to be shifted.

Their report says: ‘Two of the six games Deputy Chief Constable Roberts listed on Friday were Everton v Liverpool and the leaders’ title-clincher. However, Premier League executive director Bush noted that Merseyside Police subsequently responded by saying that, in their view, they could deal with the matches on their beat.

‘Merseyside Police released a further statement on Friday that, in their view, the Premier League matches scheduled for their area were within their capacity to cover,’ Bush wrote.

‘From further enquiries, I understand that the process of review continues at the other two local police forces which had previously requested fixtures be moved.

‘Of course, in the current circumstances, risks still remain and, as a fallback, we will continue to prepare for neutral venues for any match, in case they are needed, so that we can react swiftly to any withdrawal of a safety certificate.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

2 comments on “Neutral grounds almost off the agenda

  1. I’ve been an an anonymous reader for several years but did want to comment on this.
    As a West Ham follower living in the Merseyside Region I share Joe Anderson, the Major of Liverpool’s concern that significant numbers of fans would go to the Anfield to celebrate if and when they eventually win the Premiership (which I think they deserve), so it’s interesting that the Police think they can cope.
    Really pleased that the West Ham matches shouldn’t be affected by this

  2. I think the Liverpool Mayor has a very valid point!! Saw the other day the family of a decessed Liverpool fan were criticizing the government for allowing the Athletico match to go ahead. Surely the same concerns over spreading the virus applies to Liverpool fans gathering in numbers. The London Mayor has similar concerns about fans of clubs illegally gathering in the capital. All very valid imo Formby Hammer

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