Premier League chief executive Richard Masters: “It’s our preference to play the games where they were originally planned home and away but there are some concerns”
Last Updated: 29/05/20 1:32pm
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters admits a small number of the remaining games in this season’s competition could be played at neutral venues, with a decision expected by the end of next week
Liverpool could win the Premier League title at a neutral venue under police proposals.
Police have set out the Premier League matches they would like to be played at neutral venues, which could include Liverpool matches where the title could be won.
Jurgen Klopp’s side need two more wins – or one if Manchester City lose their game in hand against Arsenal – to reach a points total which City would be unable to overtake.
The matches which have been requested to take place at neutral grounds are:
Everton vs LiverpoolManchester City vs LiverpoolManchester City vs NewcastleManchester United vs Sheffield UnitedNewcastle vs Liverpool
The police statement adds that “the game in which Liverpool could secure the league title” should also be moved, but this may end up needing to be more than one match if the Reds did not clinch it at the first attempt.
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts of South Yorkshire Police, the UK’s football policing lead, said in a statement issued to the PA news agency: “Our discussions with the Premier League throughout this process have been positive, with a shared focus on the priority of public health.
Gary Neville believes great strides have been made ahead of football’s return in England and the Premier League returning is a big moment
“As such we have reached a consensus that balances the needs of football, while also minimising the demand on policing.
“The majority of remaining matches will be played, at home and away as scheduled, with a small number of fixtures taking place at neutral venues, which, contrary to some reports, have yet to be agreed.”
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters accepts some games may have to take place in neutral venues.
In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, Masters said: “It’s our preference to play the games where they were originally planned home and away but there are some concerns. We’ll have a clearer picture in the next seven to 10 days but we hope the amount of games will be low.
“They (the police) have legitimate concerns but we think we can mitigate some of the issues they’re trying to deal with. Ultimately we want the season to be played out on the pitch and we’re discussing a number of options to make it as fair as possible.
Jamie Carragher is looking forward to seeing the Premier League return and says credit is due for getting the competition to a point where it can resume
“We’ll do everything we possibly can to deliver a trophy presentation. It’s really important to mark that moment and to give the fans that memory to mark it.”
The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, says he will work with both police and supporters’ groups to find a solution when it comes to games which may have to be played at neutral grounds.
The Merseyside derby has been identified as one fixture that may have to be played out of the city due to fears of fans congregating outside the stadium, as Liverpool look to secure the first title in 30 years.
Anderson said: “It is important that the local authority understands the concerns of both the police and also of supporters, the major priority is the health and safety of the people of the City. But we will also listen to concerns of supporter groups.
“One thing I would question is whether the Premier League could find a way of moving the fixtures that may provide the greater challenges, such as the Merseyside derby, to later in the fixture calendar, with the intention of attempting to take away some of those concerns.”
How will having no fans inside the stadium impact Premier League clubs? Read more here
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