It seems the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ plans have hit an obstacle in the form of the bottom six clubs.
According to reports, the bottom six clubs are so against restarting the 2019/20 season that their attitude is being dubbed ‘Project Sabotage'.
Executives like Brighton’s Paul Barber and Aston Villa’s Christian Purslow have gone public in their views that the remanning matches shouldn’t be played in neutral venues. They believe that home advantage could have played a crucial role in keeping them in the top-flight.
They’ve even suggested the idea of scrapping relegation altogether - something that the TV companies insisted was “totally off the table.”
Sources have told the Independent that “They’re all so desperate to play in the Premier League that they’re willing to not play the Premier League at all.”
A majority vote of 14 clubs is required to pass any motion in the Premier League so there’s a fear that Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich only need one other club to join their side to be in a strong position.
However, it seems fans have very little sympathy.
In a Facebook poll ran by GiveMeSport, 66% of supporters believe it’s fair to keep relegation in the Premier League's 'Project Restart' despite games being at neutral grounds.
From a total of 26.3k votes, only 34% believe it’s unfair to relegate three clubs if the season can be completed.
One fan in support of relegating clubs wrote: “All the people who support clubs in danger will vote no. They've been down there all season can't just void relegation and continue playing the season. It's not fair to all the clubs who you'd think would be down there and who have battled hard to be away from there.”
Another added: “Think about the teams that worked so hard to be promoted. Ruling out relegation is like a spit in the face to them.”
Of course, there is a tricky decision to be made if the season can’t be completed with Villa currently having a game in hand of their relegation rivals, sitting in 19th place and one win away from getting out of the bottom three.
Clubs certainly won’t want to be relegated without playing 38 matches so completing the campaign in neutral venues seems like the only alternative right now.
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