A agreement has been reached among Premier League clubs to play the remainder of the 2019/20 season at neutral grounds across England, with up to ten stadiums in consideration.
Planning is underway to find an amicable method to complete the current campaign, in a bid to avoid the financial and logistical ramifications that would occur if the season is cancelled in its entirety.
ICYMI: At a Shareholders meeting, clubs discussed possible steps to resume the 2019/20 season
The League and clubs will only return to training and playing with Government guidance, under expert advice and after consultation with players and managers
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 1, 2020
As of yet there is no green light from the government to complete the currently postponed season but if the Premier League is given the go-ahead, The Sun have revealed playing the remainder of the fixtures at neutral venues will be the manner to proceed.
After a near four-hour video meeting of the 20 clubs’ officials, plans to use ‘eight to ten neutral stadiums’ was agreed to. General training will resume from 18 May, with the first batch of top-flight fixtures to kick off on 12 June – when Euro 2020 had initially been due to begin.
The eight venues most likely to be used are Brighton’s Amex Stadium and Southampton’s St Mary’s on the south coast, West Ham’s London Stadium and Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London, along with Leicester’s King Power Stadium and Aston Villa’s Villa Park in the Midlands.
While up in the north west, Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium would be the other two stadia used. According to the report, six clubs had concerns over the proposal – which would see no side play in their home stadium – although the majority view ruled the decision as the best course of action.
Grounds such as Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge and Liverpool’s Anfield were discounted with police having fears of using heavily congested urban areas where fans could converge en masse.
A Premier League source said: “It’s pretty clear we will have to play behind closed doors when we come back — including, probably, into next season. Nobody wants that but we cannot deny the reality.
“This is seen by everybody as the best option in the circumstances and we recognise that we must choose venues where we can ensure only those authorised to be there will be in and around the
“Of course, there are a range of views around the League and clubs. They all have their own stances and positions. But it was generally agreed that we should do everything we can to try to finish the season.”
One noticeable caveat of this plan is that should Liverpool win the league their 25-point lead would suggest they will, then they will do so away from their home, Anfield.