Brighton Become The First Premier League Team To Reject Finishing The Season At Neutral Grounds
Brighton and Hove Albion have become the first Premier League team to publicly oppose the Premier League's plans to finish the season at neutral venues across the country.
Premier League club's convened on Friday afternoon to discuss 'Project Restart' in an attempt to resume the 2019/2020 season.
However, Brighton chief executive Paul Barber released a statement on the club's official website explaining why the Seagulls are against the idea.
"Clearly, we must all be prepared to accept some compromises," Barber started.
"And we fully appreciate why playing behind closed doors is very likely to be a necessary compromise to play our remaining games while continuing to fully support the government's efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.
"But at this critical point in the season playing matches in neutral venues has, in our view, potential to have a material effect on the integrity of the competition."
Brighton play their home games at the Amex Stadium and the stadium is on the list for potential venues the Premier League can use.
Despite this, Barber did stress the club have not been made aware of the stadium's inclusion.
"The disadvantages of us not playing the league's top teams in our home stadium and in familiar surroundings, even with 27,000 Albion fans very unlikely to be present at the Amex, are very obvious," he added.
"We must accept there may also be some benefit from playing our remaining four away matches at neutral venues but the fixture list simply isn't equally balanced at this stage of the season, and we didn't play our first 29 matches of the season in this way. So, in our opinion one thing doesn't cancel out the other."
Brighton are currently 15th in the table and two points above the relegation zone.
Premier League clubs confirmed on Friday their target date for training to resume is May 18, with the first set of Premier League fixtures scheduled for June 12.
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The grounds will be confirmed in the coming weeks, but concerns have been expressed about using congested urban areas.
It means Liverpool's Anfield and Chelsea's Stamford Bridge have been ruled out per reports.
Further reports claim the strongest candidates for the eight stadiums in England's top flight include Old Trafford, King Power Stadium and Emirates Stadium, among others.
Check out the slated stadiums below.
- Amex Stadium (Brighton & Hove Albion)
- St Mary's (Southampton)
- London Stadium (West Ham United)
- Emirates Stadium (Arsenal)
- King Power Stadium (Leicester City)
- Villa Park (Aston Villa)
- Old Trafford (Manchester United)
- Etihad Stadium (Manchester City)
Wembley Stadium and St George's Park are believed to have been discussed as options.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images