Bottom Six Could Scupper Project Restart With Clubs Split On Relegation
The bottom six and top six are split on relegation with those clubs around the relegation zone trying to block the return of the Premier League.
Reports last week claimed that the English top tier was hoping to return as early as June 8th, as long as they can get clearance from the government for clubs to return to training next week, but they've already hit snags.
According to reports on Sunday clubs near the bottom are worried the plan to host games in neutral venues will impact their season and put them at an unfair advantage when it comes to trying to avoid relegation.
The Daily Mail report that whilst the bottom six lobby for no relegation the top six want a guarantee they'll be promotion and relegation no matter what happens, thus forcing those in the relegation zone to accept the only way to get out of it is to play the remaining fixtures.
Part of the Project Restart plan includes games being played at 10 neutral venues but with games being played behind closed doors this is to stop fans from gathering outside their team's ground, rather than to neutralise any home advantage.
However Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said they club was opposed that idea as neutral venues would 'damage the integrity' of the league and of relegation, as some teams obviously would have less home games than usual.
One club executive told the Mail, "They are threatening to destroy football just to avoid the risk of relegation. Their thinking is so short-sighted."
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The report also claims some clubs have been using their medical staff to 'stoke fear' amongst the players about the risks of returning to playing.
The clubs need 14 votes in favour of returning to play to actually come back, should the government give them the all clear to do so.
Whilst the title race is all but done, with Liverpool 25 points clear of closest rivals Manchester City and needing just two wins to secure the title, the bottom of the table is far from decided.
Norwich City look all but down on 21 points but are still only six points from safety with Aston Villa on 25 points and Bournemouth on 27 points also in the relegation zone.
Watford and West Ham remain outside the bottom three on goal difference alone and Brighton are only two points above them.
Who will go down if the season does return? Let us know in the comments.
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