Premier League to warn clubs over voting against neutral venues

At least 14 clubs need to back the proposals before games can restart

Villa Brighton
Image: Aston Villa and Brighton both have reservations about concluding the season at neutral venues

Premier League clubs will be warned at a meeting on Monday that the season not restarting at neutral venues could cost them more than relegation and they must consider the long-term consequences of voting against the proposal.

The six bottom clubs - Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich - have reservations about proposals to finish the season by playing at neutral grounds without fans.

They believe giving up home advantage could affect their chances of staying up and compromise the integrity of the competition.

However, they will be warned that the protocols for games restarting could be in place for the start of next season, so they need to think about the long-term consequences of voting against playing at neutral grounds.

At least 14 clubs need to back the proposals before games can restart.

The Premier League meeting will take place hours after the government have announced the latest review of lockdown restrictions.

Premier League clubs remain committed to finishing the season and they have been encouraged by the fact the Bundesliga is due to return next weekend.

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Carra questions 'no relegation' stance

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher…

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Jamie Carragher has criticised Premier League clubs who softened their stance on playing at neutral venues when the possibility of no relegation was suggested.

'A couple of weeks ago I wrote a newspaper article about the bottom six clubs being vocal about reasons the league shouldn't go on, and they were legitimate reasons. I think everyone in the Premier League had them, in terms of fan safety, player safety, testing, taking things away from the NHS.

'What really got me off the back of the last meeting was that it has since emerged that the clubs weren't opposed to neutral venues; because as soon as relegation was taken off the table, it was fine to play at neutral grounds.

'Those clubs around the bottom lost a bit of their argument when that came out. For so long they've been vociferous speaking about reasons, and that's what we want. The teams at the top find it very difficult to talk about the season going on because it looks insensitive, whereas it's completely different for teams at the bottom.

'But a lot of that, when they said it was OK to play at neutral venues when relegation was scrapped, I just thought it really ruined their argument.

'I think they lost a little bit of sympathy, the teams at the bottom, who have been arguing about different, legitimate reason why they shouldn't play. But as soon as relegation was taken off the table, they were fine with it. That doesn't really sit well.'

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