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Monday, June 21, 2021

Majority of Premier League’s bottom half clubs ‘want relegation axed’

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The impending return of the Premier League has been thrown into doubt as a majority of bottom half clubs are reportedly opposing proposals to resume the season unless relegation is axed.

A minimum of 14 clubs must agree to plans put forward by the league in order for ‘Project Restart’ to be approved.

As it stands at least six top-flight clubs have expressed their concerns about the season restarting, but Sky Sports report that more are against the idea in its current form.

Clubs feel that playing behind closed doors – possibly at neutral venues and with potential law changes – means the remainder of the campaign will be carried out under different circumstances.

Premier League clubs are split over a return
Premier League clubs are split over a return

They argue that relegation should therefore be scrapped to maintain fairness.

Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich are the six sides who have been particularly vocal about their opinions, and are now said to be gaining support from other clubs.

Clubs are due to discuss the Premier League’s plans at a video conference meeting on Monday.

Among the points up for discussion are the possibility of allowing five substitutions per team in each game, as well as eliminating the use of VAR.

League chiefs have already warned club’s they face damaging economic ramifications if the rest of the season is unable to be carried out.

But club’s are also working to protect their own interests.

Watford chairman Scott Duxbury said in a statement: “With all these compromises and health risks we are asked to finish a competition that bears no resemblance to the one we started, which could end a small club like Watford’s time in the Premier League.

“Critics will say my position is founded on self-interest and they would be absolutely right. I have a duty to protect my club and the people employed by it, some of whom have worked for Watford Football Club for more than 20 years and dedicated their lives to it.

“If we start and finish a whole season under these conditions and at neutral venues when everybody knows the rules when we start, not created in a time of crisis, then that is clearly fair.

“To be asked to finish a quarter of the season under new rules and conditions is an entirely different proposition.”

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