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Saints Said To Be In Favour Of Project Restart
Saturday, 9th May 2020 10:05

According to the Daily Echo Saints are said to be ready to vote in favour of Project Restart in what will be a crucial week in the future of football in this country.

The meeting and then voting of Premier League clubs this week is more than just a vote to complete this season, it is a vote for the continuance of football not just to complete this season, but actually next season and going forwards.

The issue is not directly financial, it is more legal, should clubs vote to void the season then the potential legal actions could see next season unable to start till these have been settled and that could drag on for months and even as long as a year.

So the issues for the 20 Premier League clubs are far more reaching than just playing a few games of football.

From a medical and scientific point of view it is keen that the Government is keen for football to restart behind closed doors, it sees it as a boost to the population's morale to have sport return and it also see's it as something that will keep a good proportion of the population indoors to watch it at times when they will be tempted to go out en masse in the summer sun and from this viewpoint they see it as almost essential that football returns.

All of these plans though are subject to strict conditions being met to allow it's return, they are not based on the current situation, but the experts predictions on just where the Country will be in 5-6 weeks time.

According to the Daily Echo who presumably have communication with the club, Saints are in favour of the restart, although some clubs are openly expressing concerns, these seem mainly to centre around the intention to use neutral grounds and mainly come from teams in the relegation battle at the bottom.

As with any Premier League change, it will need a 14 team majority for the rule to be passed.

So it seems that the issues at the moment are not about re starting the season, or playing behind closed doors, but about playing at neutral grounds with teams at the bottom fearing losing home advantage will cost them dearly.

The Premier League are targeting a return to training in small groups from May 18, although this will depend on what Boris Johnson says on Sunday Evening.

The clubs are well aware that the games will be played under strict medical safety checks and supervision and that this is not an issue, a Premier League footballer will be one of the safest people in the country, it will be far far safer to play for Saints against Arsenal on a Saturday afternoon than spend it in Tesco's or at the beach and the same could probably be said for watching it from home.

These discussions between football and the Government have been going on for some time, the clubs are fully informed, it seems in the main they are well aware of the pros and cons and the reasons for football restarting as well as the financial implications, now it will all come down to the neutral venue issue.

The Daily Echo is led to believe that Saints have always wanted to finish the current campaign and with playing games at home ruled out, they are open to competing at neutral venues.

We will of course be able to look at Germany where the Bundesliga will re start next weekend behind closed doors, Spain and Italy has seen teams re start training of sorts and they are negotiating a return to closed doors action in mid June.

The problem though is that it seems that no country has had exactly identical issues than another, our slowness in lockdown has been cited by some and the Cheltenham festival being allowed to go ahead as a big mistake by the government, but that event was attended by 20-25,000 who travelled over from Ireland, yet they have had fewer than 1,500 deaths from the virus.

This highlights that what will affect one country will not necessarily affect another in the same way, this being the case it is hard to compare data.

So in my opinion we have to look at how Germany gets on with our restart and then look to our own medical & scientific experts to assess the situation here, my guess judging by the words coming from the Goverment is that re starting football behind closed doors safely is not an issue, it is other issues that have to be dealt with including keeping fans from attending the stadiums in numbers.

Photo: Action Images

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underweststand added 11:25 - May 9
when I began reading...the same thought occurred to me (Nick) in that going to the local supermarket is more of health hazard than 22 men running around a large open field.
Other issues have been highlighted in that... playing behind closed doors -without fans- would be counterproductive for players who may be used to having crowds of anything up to 60,000 in the stadium...(even more at Old Trafford ).
My take on that is - if players can't play without fans to cheer, there's something wrong with their confidence or motivation. Internationals have been played behind closed doors in Europe..(after racist behaviour was punished by UEFA.).
Those players who want to avoid any sort of contact with others - can report with the sick... and walking wounded. Sounds harsh but just a couple of months ago some stats, showed that the majority of Prem. clubs had five / six absentees at the time, so one or two more is only par for the course.
Those clubs who are against the re-start are mainly those in danger of relegation -as one might expect. A void season would give them the chance of a fresh start next season, but is terribly harsh of those who seem certain for promotion. ( WBA / Leeds + another)

Most people have avoided the discussion about the lost income, and aside from the loss of matchday income, the thought of re-paying £30-40 million to the TV companies may seriously damage clubs economy. For those "big clubs " .. it's only the cost of "one bad buy " in the transfer market, whereas for many clubs it would be more than their transfer budget for next season.

Finally, the idea of fans turning up at a neutral ground to stand outside listening to the silence from an empty stadium is more ridiculous than it sounds, when it would be far better to stay at home and watch the match on TV. Those fools who might want to travel to a neutral ground could be confronted by police- and fined for breaking the lockdown.

legod7 added 12:54 - May 9
I believe the move by the Premier League for Project Restart is purely financial. No ifs no buts! The Premier League and the FA are badgering the government to restart football because of the amount of Sky/BT the would lose. Surely with over 30,000 already dead from Coronavirus restarting football should be the last thing to think about. It needs a strong response by Boris Johnson to stop any sporting events before a vaccine is found.France and The Netherlands have already ended the season.

saintmark1976 added 14:12 - May 9
Even though I'm a Saints season ticket holder I'm currently ambivalent as to wether the season does or does no restart any time soon. On the balance of probabilities I expect that it will given the vested interests of the government and big business to a achieve such an outcome.

My concern is not the relative short term but what occurs later in regard to the games perception going forward. Forget Liverpool because if they don't win the league this season then they can try again next, whenever that may be. Not quite so simple for any team relegated after the rules of the competition which they entered in August are drastically changed in June is it?You can't simply restart as if nothing much has

saintmark1976 added 14:21 - May 9
changed can you? You are in a another league with completely different financial circumstances and undoubtedly numerous people connected with such a club will cry out "fix" at every opportunity going forward. Good publicity when things return to normal? I for one would suggest not.

HythePeer added 15:17 - May 9
A lot of games played out on TV only will possibly tempt many to stay at home and not venture out?

SaintPaulVW added 17:02 - May 9
If 7 clubs vote against it, it won't happen.

You can easily see 6 at the bottom who would prefer a void season as opposed to a chance of relegation.

As Uefa have left it up to the league to pick the Champions league/ Europa participants for next season, it's not too difficult to imagine that someone sat in a lucrative spot at the moment won't want too lose out either.


the_saint added 18:57 - May 9
Saintmark I really do enjoy reading your responses but can you use words I dont have to keep googling :-)

the_saint added 19:39 - May 9
My take on things are too many people are dying from this wretched virus football really is not that important, important is peoples safety and limiting taking this virus home to our beloved, end off.

davidargyll added 07:32 - May 10
The most interesting point made is that HMG want footie back to keep people indoors.
That seems very plaudible.
But the real problem comes when a member of one of PL team’s staff gets the virus, which Will happen atvsome stage, guaranteed.
Then what happens to that team - witness the announcement from the Bundesliga2 this morning.
Ultimately, unless this season is delayed until say October, and next season doesn’t start until say December, I can see the only solution would be to scrap 2919/2020, give Leeds and WBA some compensation for not being promoted, do a deal with the TV companies and move on.
And to think not so long ago we all thought VAR was the most important issue in the PL ..

halftimeorange added 10:09 - May 10
Personally, I don't care if it's free entry - I won't be going until I've had a jab. Do I want to watch the EPL matches played on TV in empty stadiums on a sunny summer's day - nope. Football is way down my current list of priorities.

Waylander added 12:36 - May 10
"France and The Netherlands have already ended the season."
Yes they have and the lawsuits are flying.

"do a deal with the TV companies and move on"
Returning revenues to the TV companies means taking a hit of £40M, enough to bring down some PL clubs, possibly including Saints.

davidargyll added 22:46 - May 10
Do a deal with the TV companies means exactly that, in other words negotiating not to have to shell out a huge amount of loot, or at least doing it on some sort of deferral basis and /Or getting it reduced. This whole episode is all about sharing the financial pain and TV is going to have to contribute, otherwise their “product” will get seriously devalued.

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