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Premier League agrees to go behind closed doors at neutral venues for June restart

Despite the coronavirus crisis, the Premier League remains determined to complete the 2019/20 season following Friday’s conference and games will be played at neutral stadiums

Premier League clubs up and down the country remain determined to get the 2019/20 campaign completed on the pitch and have agreed to play at neutral venues. While the coronavirus crisis continues and the UK remains in lockdown, the Government has been in positive talks over football returning at the top level.

So long as health and safety protocols are obeyed, the intention is still to get the final 92 Premier League matches played. The latest meeting of Premier League chiefs and club executives was held today in a video conference which lasted four hours. A host of issues were due to be discussed from squads

Most Premier League players pushing for June resumption and see stadiums as safe

Following today’s talks, it has been made clear that France’s decision to cancel the Ligue 1 season has not swayed the thought process in England. The possible return date of June 8 remains the target, but more negotiations are set to be held next Friday on May 8. Crucially, though, the big development today was Premier League games will be staged behind closed doors at neutral stadiums. West Ham’s London Stadium is also seen as another suitable neutral venue among the 12-strong list. Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium and West Ham’s London Stadium are believed to be on the list. Boris Johnson’s office has been in regular contact with Premier League bosses

There are growing fears that Premier League football will remain behind closed doors for the whole of next season as the world continues to deal with the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. Before games begin again this term, full training is being targeted for May 18. A meeting between clubs has been scheduled for that date too, which means there will be a 10-day gap between next Friday’s conference and that to give clubs a chance to assess the situation better. The Premier League will still need Government approval in order to return with the lockdown still in force, although Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to gradually ease restrictions with the peak of the spread now past.

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