Premier League faces major problem as Brighton chief has support to derail restart
Premier League clubs have a crunch meeting on Monday to talk about Project Restart’.
Paul Barber claims he has the support he needs to derail the Premier League‘s plan to restart the season at neutral venues ahead of a crunch meeting on Monday. Project Restart will be outlined with representatives from all 20 clubs present.
The Brighton chief executive is so much against the current proposal that he would prefer to abandon the current campaign instead.
Moreover, he hinted that the Premier League might face legal action if it tried to relegate teams after anything other than a full season of home-and-away games.
Premier League rules 14 out of 20 clubs must back any proposal and Barber believes he has the numbers to make things awkward for the Premier League
“We havent got as far as legal advice yet, because we havent got a vote, and we havent got an outcome,” he said.
“But we go into a competition expecting a particular format and particular structure, and change to that structure clearly is going to be a significantly debated fact.
“Its more, in my opinion, than just the bottom six which keeps being touted. That is misguided and wrong. There are genuine concerns at all levels of the league about neutral venues so I think the
“It has to be looked at again, otherwise we will have an impasse and it will create another delay and more difficulty and we dont want that.
“This is isnt just a rule change, this is a significant constitutional competition change and a very different way of finishing the season to the way we started it.
“There are certain things you can compromise on – no crowds in the stadium – but not going to the point of giving up home advantage, particularly when the number of games left is for us uneven.”
But Barber will argue that the board should challenge the Government’s stance and hopes the Bundesliga will provide an example of how home-and-away games can be played safely when they resume their own league next Saturday.
“The stadiums Ive been to in Germany are in built up areas,” Barber said.
“I was there last season in Dortmund, theres a residential area opposite the stadium.
“That will be used in the next few weeks. I think its with looking at again and I think its also worth retracing our steps a little bit.”
The Premier League have been working on what criteria make a good neutral venue – on-site facilities suitable for social distancing, secure surroundings away from housing and the levels of pandemic affecting nearby hospitals.
They had then planned after Monday’s meeting to look at specific meetings.
This latest initiative by Barber, if it garners the support he believes it can, will slow that process down and as a result it is now thought there will be little by way of any sort of resolution at the end of Monday’s meeting.
If Barber does succeed on taking the neutral venue idea off the table completely, the Premier League will then be struggling to form a collective plan for a return in time for UEFA’s May 25 request for all proposals across the continent.