Every Premier League clubs' stance on the return of top-flight football in June

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It’s been more than two months since Leicester vs Aston Villa.

The significance of that match is that it’s the last game in England’s top-flight to take place.

When's the next one?

Project Restart has touted June 12 as a potential date that the campaign will resume.

But there are plenty of obstacles to hurdle before that can become a possibility.

While it’s clear the Premier League want the league to finish in order to receive the broadcasting fees they’re due, how are the clubs feeling?

Well, the Mirror has revealed the stance of each of the 20 clubs regarding Project Restart:

Arsenal

Stance: Desperate to return

If the season was stopped, Arsenal wouldn’t be in Europe as they currently sit ninth. That would be a massive blow so they’re desperate to return in the hope to climb the table to boost finances.

Aston Villa

Stance: Against neutral venues, relegation if season curtailed

Aston Villa are in the relegation zone as it stands but have a game in hand.

Their CEO, Christian Purslow, has been vocal in stating they don’t want to play at neutral venues.

But continuing the season could be the only way to save themselves from relegation.

Aston Villa v Leicester City - Carabao Cup: Semi Final

AFC Bournemouth

Stance: Against neutral venues

Bournemouth would be in financial trouble if they were relegated from the Premier League.

They’re currently in the bottom three but, interestingly, would leapfrog West Ham if a weighted points-per-game system was used.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Stance: Against neutral venues, relegation if season curtailed

Brighton have been strongly against neutral venues having taken 18 of their 29 points at home this season.

Brighton striker Glenn Murray said earlier this week: "Why can’t we wait to see what happens, rather than start an unnecessary sport when people are dying."

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Burnley

Stance: Publicly keen to return

“Everyone was of the same thought. Everyone wants to get back to training and they want the season to go ahead,” Sean Dyche said this week.

The club chairman, Mike Garlick, previously said they stood to lose £50 million if the season doesn’t restart.

Chelsea

Stance: Ready to return, need convincing over safety

Chelsea have been a credit to the Premier League with their actions during this pandemic.

Manager Frank Lampard expressed his uncertainty at the Premier League’s testing protocol and admitted there were "football integrity issues" that needed sorting.

Chelsea are currently 4th but are just three points ahead of Manchester United.

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Crystal Palace

Stance: Major proponents of returning

Palace chairman Steve Parish was largely praised for his Sunday Times column explaining why the Premier League should return.

There are concerns whether 72-year-old manager Roy Hodgson would be safe to return when football does.

Everton

Stance: Keen to return

Everton have been fairly quiet during the entire pandemic.

However, the fact last season’s turnover to wage ratio stood at 85% suggests they could be hurt financially if football doesn’t return.

Everton FC v Manchester United - Premier League

Leicester City

Stance: Ready to return

Whether the season resumes or it’s curtailed, it seems Leicester will be playing Champions League football next season as they sit third - eight points ahead of Man Utd.

Earlier this month, Brendan Rodgers said: "The concept that everyone wants is that we all return but the players need to know the safety is there.

"It needs to be safe to go back into our work."

Liverpool

Stance: Relaxed but ready to return

While rival fans are seemingly desperate to null and void the season to stop Liverpool from claiming the Premier League title, the Reds have sat back and not been too forceful in demanding the season is finished.

They will be champions either way but they may have to settle for an ‘asterisk’ if all 38 matches aren’t played.

Jurgen Klopp returned to Melwood on Thursday.

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Manchester City

Stance: Relaxed over return, reservations over player welfare

Both Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have expressed concerns over player safety recently.

Aguero said: "The majority of players are scared because they have family, they have children, they have babies. When we go back, I imagine we will be very tense, we will be very careful and the moment someone feels ill, you will think, ‘What’s gone on there?’".

There’s nothing riding on their Premier League season but they’re still in the Champions League and FA Cup.

Manchester United

Stance: Keen to return

Manchester United were flying before the season was halted, moving to within three points of Chelsea in fourth.

With Manchester City’s European ban, though, having the season curtailed could see the Red Devils qualify for the Champions League anyway.

They would prefer to play the remaining home games at Old Trafford given the lucrative sponsorship deals.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

Newcastle United

Stance: Ready to return

While the club may be ready to return, on-loan fullback Danny Rose clearly isn’t. In an Instagram Live video, he said: "It's a f****** joke, I'm not even going to lie. The government is saying bring football back because it's going to boost the nation's morale, I don't give a f*** about the nation's morale.

"People's lives are at risk, you know what I mean? Football shouldn't even be spoken about coming back until the numbers have dropped massively. It's b*******.”

The Toon are safe from relegation regardless.

Norwich City

Stance: Against relegation if season curtailed

Norwich are bottom and look set to be relegated.

Sporting director Stuart Webber has accepted that but feel his club can only be relegated if the Championship also complete their matches and earn promotion on merit.

"What we could not accept is a situation where we play all our games and get relegated, but the Championship can't play, and they automatically promote some teams who haven't finished the season.

"It needs to be settled on the pitch - both coming up and going down."

Norwich City v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Sheffield United

Stance: Keen to play to a finish

The club apparently made the rather obvious - but not previously considered - point that clubs were forgetting that they would all gain an "away advantage" as neutral grounds are more of a level playing field.

As they sit just five points off a Champions League berth and still in the FA Cup, Sheffield United are obviously keen to finish the season.

But curtailing the campaign could see them leapfrog Wolves into a Europa League spot due to their game in hand.

Southampton

Stance: Keen to return

"No-one is talking about playing now, it's not appropriate now, no-one is suggesting we will play now,” club chief executive Martin Semmens said recently.

"But what we must do is plan for how we will bring our business back, otherwise there will be no business and there will be no football club."

With the Saints clear of relegation, finishing the season is important to them financially more than anything else.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Stance: Desperate to return despite reservations

Spurs will lose more than £100 million in projected revenues due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, reports emerged from the Premier League’s meeting that manager Jose Mourinho strongly defended the players who were concerned for their safety.

He later denied those reports and said: “I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action."

His side wouldn’t be in Europe if the season can’t be finished.

Watford

Position: Against neutral venues, relegation if neutral venues used

Chief executive Scott Duxbury questioned whether there was any "sporting integrity" if neutral venues were used to finish the season.

"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," Duxbury said.

"So is this fair? Does it have any semblance of sporting integrity? Of course not."

They’re currently above the relegation zone on goal difference and want relegation off the table if neutral venues are used.

Watford FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League

West Ham United

Position: Against neutral venues, player safety concerns

As previously mentioned, the proposed weighted points-per-game system could see Wes Ham relegated, while club chief Karen Brady initially called for the season to be declared null and void.

It's believed that they were against relegation if neutral venues were used but are open to the bottom three going down if home and away matches are played for the remainder of the campaign.

Captain Mark Noble has said: "I think we should play behind closed doors when it is safe, I think we all understand that I don’t think we’re going to play in front of crowds this season.

“I think even if we went into October time. I think we should just get it finished this season and worry about next season after that.”

But Noble called for greater clarity where player safety was concerned at this week’s captains meeting.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Stance: Ready to return

Wolves want the season to finish as they could still qualify for the Champions League. Meanwhile, if a points-per-game system is used, Wolves would fall below Sheffield United in the battle for European places.

The club would prefer to play home and away matches, while captain Conor Coady has spoken of his desire to finish the season.

Meanwhile, they’re still in the Europa League after drawing the first leg of their last 16-clash with Olympiacos - a game which manager Nuno Espírito Santo was very critical about going ahead.

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