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Neutral grounds – the latest update

The Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to use neutral venues for some of the remaining 92 matches of this season.

The issue has been one of the most contentious around Project Restart, with some clubs vehemently opposed to the idea, but there is now a general agreement following Thursday’s shareholders meeting.

The Telegraph reportd that at one stage the Premier League, claiming it was following a demand by the Government, police and safety authorities had suggested all the matches were played at a select number of neutral venues but this plan was ditched after the clubs rebelled.

But following today’s Premier League meeting the reality is that only very few – if, indeed, any – of the remaining matches will be selected for neutral venues and it will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Last week deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, the police lead on football, identified six matches that should be played at neutral venues. Three matches involving Liverpool – including the one in which they win the Premier League title – were selected with the fear that fans would congregate.

However, following opposition, it appears this plan is likely to be revised with the decisions on whether games can take place at a club’s home stadium likely to rest with the local safety advisory group in consultation with the police.

It is now expected that a fixture list, at least for the first few rounds of matches, will be produced on Friday.

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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