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Top clubs seem to want strugglers to cut their own throats

Paul Barber

High pressure moves to whip the six relegation threatened clubs into line  are allegedly being piled on by the top six Premier League clubs.

And according to the Mail the Premier League will make a desperate plea for unity this week amid claims the bottom six clubs are sabotaging plans to resume the season.

In short the League is looking for clubs to agree to play on in totally changed circumstances at the risk of cutting their own throats and falling out of the top league.

The teams at the bottom claim that by playing on neutral grounds they are losing any home advantage in their fight to stay up which is of course perfectly justifiable.

Claims that it’s a level playing ground for them all are clearly not correct with the Hammers for example losing any of that advantage against Watford and Villa.

Despite the government not yet agreeing any form of relaxation on lock down restrictions it seems the League and the big clubs are determined to ensure any sort of finish to the campaign with the Mail claiming the clubs at the top lobbying  for guarantees that promotion and relegation will still be implemented, even if the season is curtailed.

The dramatic move following last Friday’s shareholders’ meeting represents an attempt by the biggest clubs to

The split over the merits of Project Restart is largely based on where clubs stand in the table, with an executive at one club telling Sportsmail on Sunday that the objections raised by clubs near the bottom were a deliberate act of sabotage.

The Premier League have attempted to maintain a show of solidarity throughout the increasingly acrimonious debate that has raged since the season was suspended on March 13. But that facade finally cracked over the weekend.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber opposed publicly the Premier League’s plan to complete the campaign using 10 neutral venues by saying that such a move would damage the integrity of the competition, while Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish responded in the Sunday Times with a strong expression of the social and economic case for football’s return.

The Mail says: ‘In another indication of the febrile atmosphere, one source present at the meeting told Sportsmail that 13 clubs were in favour of Project Restart, six opposed and one was undecided. Others are claiming there are at least eight rebel clubs, which would be enough to veto the plan.

The Premier League will need 14 votes in favour for matches to resume, with June 12 the favoured restart date, but that ballot is unlikely to take place at a meeting on Friday, which has been scheduled to follow publication of the Government’s lockdown exit strategy the previous evening.

ClaretandHugh says: There’s little question the top clubs and the Premier League are getting well ahead of themselves in this debate. There seems to be a view  the neutral grounds proposal is a given and that’s all that needs to be decided. The latest news is that eight stadiums have been chosen yet there has been no relaxation in lock down restrictions and the danger of players becoming infected is ever present. Germany has already pulled back from a proposed re-start after another peak in infections and even shouldthese ghastly scenarios be overcome somehow or other in this country why on earth would clubs at the bottom vote for the proposal before them. Let’s be reasonable –   the terms of the season are being changed so dramatically  the integrity of the league is already damaged. The league calls for unity – the big clubs show nothing of the sort – and the six clubs at the bottom are effectively being asked to run the risk of cutting their own throats at a time when no decision has been made on whether three clubs will be relegated or not or indeed whether there will be a League title award.

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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

5 comments on “Top clubs seem to want strugglers to cut their own throats

  1. As always the scousers will be whinging, as they are the only hard done team in the world.
    Thank goodness, I’m not a Liverpool supporter.
    I’d rather struggle with me Hammers than have to whing and embarrass myself for the rest of my days

  2. Surely any clubs relegated under these proposals would take legal action ? This is not a great advert forthe integrity of the game the PL keeps harping on about, more ” we’re alright jack ” attitude. Don’t these idiots think enough people have died already ? Football should return only when it is safe to do so, with fans and without restrictions . Lets concentrate on beating this awful pandemic and saving lives. Bill Shankly was wrong, football isn’t more important than life or death.

  3. The so called top six clubs have foreign owners and for them to interfere in an issue that effects British lives is a real disgrace. These clubs are where they are due to being able to outbid all other clubs in the transfer market. Questions should be asked where their money comes from amid concerns that much of it has been gained in countries with serious human rights issues. Now Newcastle could be going the same way. I am old enough to remember Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottingham and Chelsea all relegated in an era before obscene foreign investment.took over our game. They were not so smug then.

    • Well put John.As i mentioned too ,money is the determining factor and our leagues would look a whole lot different if clubs had to rely on their youth systems and the odd shrewd buy as was the case before the greedy PL was formed.

  4. Its about money.The money grabbers at the top,foreign owners.Sod the safety of players and fans.The PL is dragging this out too as they watch their cash cow dying before their very eyes.Apart from the whinging scousers does anybody realistically want to carry on.It already seems like a full pre season has past so if they were to restart it would have no relevance on what has gone before.No way teams fighting relegation are going to accept neutral venues.

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