Report: PL managers want games at home stadiums

Premier League 2019 Roundtable
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Premier League managers have discussed the plans to restart the 2019-20 season and it has been reported that they want games to be played at home stadiums rather than neutral venues.

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All 20 spoke with the Premier League on Wednesday via a video conference call as plans continue to be ramped up to return in June after the UK government gave professional sports the green light to resume in empty stadiums.

The Telegraph reports that managers were positive about the season restarting but all of them agreed that having games at home stadiums was vital to the plans. Per the report, some managers revealed some concerns about the season restarting but it was mostly positive.

This comes after the Premier League chief executive Richard Masters revealed all clubs want to play in their home stadiums and the government and police chiefs have eased their stance on only playing games at neutral stadiums.

Training protocols have been sent to managers and players to discuss and the initial plan is for Premier League clubs to return to small-group training on May 18, ahead of a possible resumption of games from June 12.

Speaking after a five-hour video conference call with all 20 Premier League clubs on Monday, Masters said that all clubs want to be able to play home and away games rather than at neutral venues as the government have requested. That is due to clubs feeling like there is an unfair advantage to playing games away from their home stadiums, even without any fans.

Master, speaking on Monday, revealed that playing games at home stadiums is now a key element to all clubs agreeing to restart the campaign.

“Everybody would prefer to play at home and away if at all possible, and it’s clear to see some clubs feel more strongly about that than others. We are in contact with the authorities and listening to that advice, while also representing club views in those discussions,” Masters said. “We are working flat out to create a responsible, safe, and deliverable model to complete the season. No decisions will be made until after we have talked to players and managers and those meetings are scheduled for later this week.”

As well as the medical protocols in place to keep players and managers safe, the sporting integrity issue of playing games at home and away stadiums as well as promotion and relegation is key.

It appears plans to restart the season hinge on home games as well as keeping players and coaches safe.