Up to 8 clubs form rebel alliance vs Project Restart

After several days of encouraging articles suggesting that the 2019-20 Premier League season will complete under ‘Project Restart’, Monday’s headlines in the UK press suggest that those plans may be unravelling.

As reported in the Times, up to eight clubs in the Premier League could join forces to prevent the resumption of the Premier League.

TIMES SPORT: Crucial vote over restart on knife edge #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/H9PnCguNCU

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 3, 2020


Problem centres on neutral grounds

The Premier League rebels are taking a stand against the controversial plans to stage the final 92 matches of this season at ‘neutral grounds’.

In short, this policy would see clubs lose home advantage as they are told to play in unfamiliar stadia.

This policy has been promulgated in an effort to curb fans from gathering outside grounds, as well as providing the Premier League with a smaller set of venues which they can control from a health standpoint.

Yet, the downside of staging matches at neutral venues is that the Premier League loses its sporting integrity.


14 clubs need to be in agreement to restart the Premier League

There are 20 clubs in the Premier League.

In order for the proposed neutral ground changes to take effect, 14 clubs need to vote in agreement.

If the report in the today’s Times is accurate – that eight teams oppose Project Restart – then the plans will not pass.

Should that happen, it would seem increasingly difficult to see how the 2019-20 Premier League season can finish.


Aston Villa, West Ham & Watford amongst the rebels

The Daily Mail feel they’ve got a handle on which Premier League clubs are currently opposed to Project Restart. Readers are told:

The Premier League will make a desperate plea for unity this week amid claims that the bottom six clubs are sabotaging plans to resume the season.

The split over the merits of Project Restart is largely based on where clubs stand in the table, with an executive at one club telling Sportsmail on Sunday that the objections raised by clubs near the bottom were a deliberate act of sabotage.

Aston Villa, West Ham & Watford form rebel alliance vs Project Restart

Aston Villa, West Ham & Watford form rebel alliance vs Project Restart

In a graphic on the Daily Mail’s website, six clubs as grouped together in opposition to Project Restart. Those clubs include Aston Villa, Watford, West Ham, Brighton, Norwich and Bournemouth.

These clubs comprise the bottom six of the Premier League.

Moreover, the Telegraph also report:

Brighton and Hove Albion, Watford, West Ham United, Bournemouth, Norwich City and, to a lesser extent, Aston Villa are all understood to be opposed to the plan, sparking concern that ­“Project Restart” is already doomed.

EXPRESS SPORT: Relegation ransom #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/afnMOHopx8

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 3, 2020


Are these clubs blackmailing the Premier League to scrap relegation?

In a remarkable revelation, the Times believe that some of the ‘rebels’ could change their position if the rest of the Premier League agree to set aside relegation for the 2019-20 season. Reporter Martyn Ziegler claims:

A vote (on Project Restart) could be held next Monday, and if seven or more clubs vote against using neutral grounds — there are suggestions that some will comply if relegation is abandoned this season — other options will have to be explored.

Adding an extra layer of confusion to the mix, the Daily Mail also reveal that the top clubs in the country are insisting that Premier League relegation remains in place:

In another sign of the destructive conflict gripping the top flight, Sportsmail can reveal that some of the Big Six are lobbying for guarantees that promotion and relegation will still be implemented, even if the season is curtailed.


Also see: Fixtures & Coronavirus: Stop dates & predicted restart schedules for European leagues, Champions League & Euro 2020.

Project Restart: Fans forced to pay Sky & BT Sport as games like Man City vs Liverpool won’t be free.


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