Gary Neville: Points-per-game relegation from Premier League would be unfair
"It's devastating going down at any time, but without even having the opportunity to defend yourself would be too much"
Last Updated: 12/05/20 10:20pm
Gary Neville feels a points-per-game relegation from the Premier League would be unfair if the remaining games cannot be played.
Premier League shareholders discussed Project Restart during virtual talks on Monday, following the government's new guidance on lockdown restrictions.
All 20 Premier League clubs remain committed to finishing the 2019/20 season and insist no club has asked for the curtailment of this campaign or asked the Premier League to scrap relegation if the season does restart.
However, with opposition to the idea of neutral venues, and growing concerns from players over their own safety, it still remains to be seen whether football will be able to restart.
If the season is ended and places need to be decided, Neville believes a points-per-game ruling would be too unfair on clubs at the bottom; Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich would be relegated.
Neville said on Tuesday's The Football Show: "I don't believe relegation is fair on the points-per-game basis.
"I think that if football was going to be played, it's right for football to be played for promotion and relegation. But I think on the points-per-game basis, to be relegated with nine games to go, with so much to play for, so tight at the bottom and with so much at stake, it doesn't feel right to me personally.
- PL chief's Q&A: Relegation, contracts, health risk
- Football Gossip: Liverpool 'insulted' by fan claims
"I think it feels unfair. What we've seen in the last couple of weeks has been quite unsavoury. Clubs have been demonstrating their self-interest to try and jostle for positions. But the big six and the powerhouses at the top will always be able to have that thumb pressed down on the others somehow, because they do carry the weight.
"I do think it's unfair for points per game for relegation. It's important I voice that. It's devastating going down at any time, but without even having the opportunity to defend yourself and play football matches would be too much."
Carra: Null and void never going to happen
FA chairman Greg Clarke has revealed English football's governing body would not sanction the null and void of the 2019/20 Premier League season, effectively guaranteeing promotion and relegation and that the title would be won.
Speaking on Tuesday's The Football Show, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher insists deeming the season null and void has been off the table for weeks, and that relegation is now the key area of concern regarding the resumption of the season.
"Null and void keeps getting mentioned a lot, but it was taken off the table weeks ago," Carragher said. "Regardless of what the FA say, UEFA took null and void off the table when they revealed how they would determine European places next season.
"In all the leagues that have finished - Belgium, France and Holland - people say those seasons were null and voided but they hadn't been. This is not new news; it was never going to be null and void.
"Relegation is now the main issue. Some countries have decided that the leagues will remain as they are. If League One and League Two are cancelled and promotions and relegations go up through the leagues, it means either three have to go up to the Premier League or three have to go down.
"I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought teams towards the bottom of the league were finding problems rather than solutions to try and get the Premier League going. If points-per-game was implemented, I think teams towards the bottom would find a way to play.
"We don't want any obstacles put in the way of completing the Premier League and if teams are to go down, they will find a way to play to avoid points-per-game."
Carra: PL must bring players with them
Carragher also feels the Premier League need to involve players more in the discussions over safety if football is to return.
"The biggest deal-breaker for the Premier League to come back is the players. It always feels like the players are the last people to be consulted, the Premier League needs to bring the players with them because if players on mass don't want to play, it's very difficult for the Premier League to get going.
"From the players and managers I've spoken to, the consensus was that the majority want to go back. There will always be one or two who are suspicious and maybe don't want to come back and you understand that. That is why the Premier League has to get the players involved and pass on more information.
"Player safety is more important than anything else; the money, promotion and relegation, the title, European qualification - player safety is paramount.
"That is why the players need to come on this journey with the Premier League now. This situation is not going to be risk-free until a vaccine comes out and even then it is very difficult to say it will be completely risk-free."