English Premier League: Use of “neutral” venues being mooted – even “Down Under”
English Premier League News: Use of “neutral” venues being mooted – even “Down Under”
In an idea coming out of the blue, the English Premier League could be headed for Australia.
The brainchild of an English agent, the idea has found favor with local politicians. In the light of the uncertainty plaguing English football post the current situation, even the wildest ideas seem welcome.
The English Premier league came to a grinding halt in March with the clamping of the lockdown and no firm dates of it to return anytime soon.
Australia has of yet escaped the worst of the problem. The sprawling state of Western Australia and Perth, the capital city of the territory is among the least affected regions – which is why it has suddenly found itself under the radar of English clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United who had visited the city during their pre-season tours and found the venue very impressive.
The idea of a wholesale move to Australia by the EPL fraternity for the remainder of the 2019-20 season has been welcomed warmly in the Wildflower State.
Perth state senator Glenn Sterle explained: “I’m watching what’s happening in England with a heavy heart. We want to help”. “We have almost no new cases. It would just be a case of some quarantine for our friends when they arrive and then we are up and running.” he added.
Meanwhile, Premier League clubs are willing to use neutral grounds to finish off the season in case the Government gives the green signal.
Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham United are among the few names wanting to restart in neutral venues.
Brighton were among a number of teams who had wanted to preserve home advantage when games returned behind closed doors.
Proposed Neutral Stadiums
After a 3½-hour video meeting of the 20 “stakeholder” clubs, the names of eight to ten “neutral” stadiums in England were put forth. They are:
West Ham’s London Stadium and Arsenal’s Emirates home in the capital.
Leicester’s King Power and Aston Villa’s ground, Villa Park, in the Midlands.
Old Trafford and the Etihad at Manchester in the North west.
Wembley, London and St George’s Park in the West Midlands are understood to have been discounted as options.
Brighton’s Amex and Southampton’s St Mary’s on the south coast of the country.
It's been decided that no club will play in their own stadium to try and maintain a degree of equality under the unprecedented circumstances.
Six clubs are understood to have voiced concerns over the wisdom of the decision of those sides wanting to finish the season. But the majority view seems to be to push ahead with the Premier League tournament as long as there is clearance from the Government.
As one enterprising Perth resident is believed to have said “There is no reason why Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and the rest of the Premier League could not decamp half way across the world in order to finish the season in relative safety.”