The English FA have effectively ended any chance of relegation from the Premier League being removed and the potential to void the season.
Speaking during the latest Premier League club meeting on ‘Project Restart’ on Monday, FA chairman Greg Clarke said the governing body would not sanction a ‘no relegation’ idea put forward by some PL clubs and also reinforced that the season should be decided on ‘sporting merit’ which means teams will either play out the remaining 92 games or the league table will be decided on points per game.
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Effectively, the Premier League being deemed ‘null and void’ for the 2019-20 season has been totally taken off the table, but there has always been a desire from all 20 clubs to finish the season however they could. But the majority of the bottom six clubs wanted relegation taken off the table if neutral stadiums are to be used as they feel the sporting integrity of the PL would be called into question.
Other details discussed in the five-hour video conference call focused on neutral stadiums and contract extensions, with the former still a major sticking point and the clubs coming to an agreement on the latter. Following the meeting, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has revealed he will speak with the government to ask if home and away games are possible rather than neutral venues.
All 20 Premier League clubs have so far agreed that they want to finish the current season but only when things improve and it is safe to play again, while England’s top-flight has been given the green light by the government that it can return after June 1.
“Sporting events behind closed doors for broadcast which I think would provide a much needed boost to national morale,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
More details have since emerged from the government about a possible restart in a 50-page document released on Monday, with the note below most interesting to Premier League fans, clubs and players hoping of a restart soon as the league has been suspended since March 13.
“Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.”
The Premier League will meet with players and managers in the coming days and the UK government on Thursday to try and plan out how the season will return on June 12, with a key vote on restarting the 2019-20 campaign expected next Monday, May 18.