The support behind ending the current Premier League season is quietly growing.
According to a report by The Athletic , calls to end the current campaign are no longer limited to clubs who stand to gain from the cancelling of the season.
The report suggests that clubs, now grasping the reality of just how difficult and potentially dangerous a return to action could be, are increasingly considering an early conclusion.
Having said that, it seems that for now, the Premier League is determined to resume play and there is still a majority in that camp with clubs set to receive a collective bill of £762million from broadcasters if they call it a day at the current point.
And that was the overriding theme from Friday’s meeting between clubs, despite private discussions suggesting an increasing openness to a resolution that would not include playing the remaining fixtures.
A ‘well-placed source’ told The Athletic: “The Premier League now wants to restart and there is a clear majority for this.
“They will have a proper crack at getting this over the line. The discussions were less a debate and more information, led by Premier League officials and the government, detailing how they can restart.
“Clubs will continue to brief and leak stories to suit their own agendas. But within the meeting, it felt like football was working its way back.”
An executive from a club in the ‘neutral camp’ is said to have suggested clubs are largely happy to play on if safe to do so, but they warned that “if the coronavirus curve goes in the wrong direction again, the appetite to resume would disappear and players and staff would rebel.”
The main theme of Friday’s meeting was to discuss playing the remaining games at a select number of ‘neutral venues’, under ‘Project Restart’.
But support for that idea is not exactly overwhelming.
Ten different venues would be used for the remaining 92 games of the campaign. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium is thought to be one that has been considered among two in the capital, although football.london understands there have been no discussions over using the north London ground.
There is understood to be a reluctance from a number of clubs to go along with the plan to stage the rest of the campaign at neutral venues.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard told BT Sport that there were “football integrity issues” to consider when asked about neutral venues, suggesting he would be against it.
The Athletic’s senior football writer David Ornstein suggested Arsenal and Chelsea were behind the idea of neutral stadia being used, however.
Tottenham’s stance on the matter is as yet unclear, while Brighton chief Paul Barber has come out and admitted the Seagulls would be against the idea.