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Neutral venues continue to act as “most realistic option” for Premier League

The use of neutral stadiums to complete the 2019/20 Premier League season continues to be discussed as the “most realistic option.”

The Premier League remains intent on completing the current season but the constantly evolving landscape pertaining to the coronavirus ensures plans are always under review.

The latest meeting between the league and club chiefs saw May 18 signalled as the ‘best-case’ scenario for training to resume, with matches then pencilled in to kick-off in the week commencing June 8.

It’s a date which falls in line with the tentative schedule set by La Liga (May 28) and Ligue 1 (June 3 or 17).

Once the season resumes it will take place behind closed doors and with various restrictions set to remain in place for the foreseeable future, games taking place across each of the 20 stadiums may prove to be a logistical nightmare.

A general view of Wembley Stadium (Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. )

And it ensures the use of neutral venues has become “the most realistic option of completing the season” for the Premier League‘s senior figures.

It would see the demand on the NHS and other public services reduced and a report from The Times quotes one football administrator as stating “that is the most likely solution” and that “it is starting to make sense to everyone.”

The use of neutral venues falls in line with other governing bodies across England’s sporting leagues, with Premiership Rugby and English cricket viewing the option as the best way to resume action.

The Premier League will not make any moves, however, until the government has given the green light as testing and resources will be required.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, February 24, 2020: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) and West Ham United's Felipe Anderson during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The FA has offered Wembley, which is currently being used to train fire service workers to become ambulance drivers, while other ‘hubs’ across the country have been earmarked.

It could see a limited number of venues across the south, Midlands and the north designated to complete the stadium as to limit the movement of people.

The report also claims that multiple games could be played on the same day at one venue, simplifying the live broadcast of all games.

The Premier League and its shareholders, as always, are guided by the government’s advice but plans for neutral venues is one which will satisfy many, including the broadcasters.

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