Premeir League Vote On Project Restart and Possible Implications
Friday, 29th May 2020 08:52
It is being billed as the most important meeting of Premier League Clubs since the competition started in 1992, here is what is voted for and what is still undecided.
The meeting was the most important in Premier League history.
Saints were one of the 20 clubs when It started at 10.30am via video link and it lasted a record five hours as all put across their views, ahead of the decision to restart the 2019-20 season on June 17th.
Here are the key points from the meeting. Some decisions were definitively made, and other issues remain outstanding for further discussion.
The first thing that was decided was that the season would kick off with the two games that remained outstanding from the fixture list ahead of the cancellation of the programme back in March.
Man City v Arsenal and Aston Villa v Sheff United - on June 17.
The season will then start in full on Friday June 19th with Spurs V Man Utd.
Kick off times for all games will be as follows.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 18:00 & 20:00
Saturday: 12:30, 15:00, 17:30 & 20:00
Sunday: 12:00, 14:00, 16:30 & 19:00
Clearly a busy programme to fit in a tough schedule, as I have previously suggested, the government are keen on using football to keep people from overcrowding on beaches and in parks etc at the height of summer and that will be helped by back to back football matches from lunchtime till late evening at weekends.
All 92 games will be shown live on TV.
Sky have the majority, but are putting 25 of their 64 games on free to air.
The remaining 28, will go on BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC, who are showing four live games for free.
The TV rebate was perhaps the biggest issue.
Clubs will have to pay back £340million, as the broadcasters no longer have the same deal as they bought.
Clubs have negotiated £170m to be paid back by August 2 with the rest spread over the next two years.
Bigger clubs will pay more as they had previously been given more TV cash.
This is a major issue, and it is difficult to project just how much of this cash Saints will have to pay, but in August it will be a maximum of £8 million, in effect it should not be a problem now as the clubs will only be receiving their final tranche of money for the season in May so it can effectively be deducted from that.
Neutral venues is still a key issue as the police argue that between 10-12 “high risk games” should be played in neutral venues.
They include Everton v Liverpool on June 20 which could be switched to the Etihad.
London derbies could also be switched to different venues in the capital.
Tottenham vs Arsenal is being mooted potentially for West Ham's London Stadium, while Tottenham vs West Ham could take place at Wembley .
Whether these venues are suitable is open for debate, for instance the Etihad is perhaps too close to Merseyside for comfort and some fans could make the journey, every club will have a hardcore of fans who even if they can't get in will want to say they were there.
Wembley could also be an issue for Spurs to play there given that they used the venue as a home base for just under two seasons ending only last year and most of their squad will have played there in that time.
The FA Cup has been factored in with the final and semi finals at Wembley andthe final is pencilled in for August 1st
The start of the new 2020-21 season has also been discussed, but that is a little more tricky until they know how this season has panned out and with the Champions League final having to be factored in that is due to be played on August 29th.
So the view is that the new season will almost certainly not start until September probably the first week, even with the rescheduled Euros next summer this should not prove too much of a problem, although the mid season break trialled this season might have to be scrapped to give a little leeway.
Perhaps the most controversial issue is what happens if the season cannot be completed and it has been agreed that an unweighted points system will be used to decide the final table, that essentially means that it is important to stay out of the bottom three, one problem with this system is that a team could get out of the bottom three should they play a Friday night fixture, but a rival might not be playing until Monday and a sudden second wave might see the table altered due to some teams having played more games than others.
So the teams will reconvene next Thursday to formalise all the agreed ways forward, using the time between then and now to fine tune some of the issues including convincing the authorities that "All" games should be played at the clubs own grounds, I think that is going to perhaps stretch things a bit and personally I think that there may be a couple of games that for safety reasons may need to be played at a neutral venue.
The most crucial one being if Liverpool are scheduled to play at home for a game they can win the League in, I think that is likely to be a neutral venue and indeed I would not be surprised of that was a secret venue far from Liverpool, the most likely stadium being Brighton's Amex due to it's out of town location lending to it being able to be locked down or St Mary's, which would be an ironic ending to the transfer tale that began in 2014.
Photo: Action Images
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