Ridiculous contingency plan has St Mary’s hosting Merseyside derby

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Southampton‘s St Mary’s Stadium has been ‘lined up’ to host the Merseyside derby if Goodison Park doesn’t receive the green light.

UPDATE: Thankfully, common sense has prevailed the use of neutral venus for Liverpool games on Merseyside has now been ruled out. Full story here.

The threat of neutral venues pertaining to Liverpool’s fixtures against Everton and Man City has raised dangerous insinuations that our fans cannot be trusted.

Initially, the UK’s national football police chief had suggested that fans may congregate outside of stadiums, which led to neutral venues to be touted.

And while we’ve seen hundreds gathering on the beaches and in various locations across the country, football fans continue to be eyed with suspicion.

And according to the Atheltic, should the Merseyside derby not receive the required safety certificate for Goodison Park, the fixture could be played at St Mary’s.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 15, 2015: A general view of Southampton's St. Mary's Stadium before the FA Premier League match against Everton. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is no doubt a contingency plan should the safety advisory group, comprising of representatives from the local police, ambulance and fire services and supporters’ groups from both clubs, fail to recommend a licence for Everton‘s home ground.

But with the Merseyside Police having declared that they are okay with the game going ahead at Goodison and Mayor Joe Anderson recently changing his tune, it would seemingly require a significant backtrack to deny the use of Goodison Park.

The report claims St Mary’s is considered the front runner ahead of other earmarked neutral venues of Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the King Power as it would “be easier and safer” for both teams to fly to Southampton rather than drive or travel by train to the other locations.

Sunday, 21 June; 7pm BST
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While public health over the R-rate has become more of a focal point, throughout the neutral venue debate, it has often been overlooked that clubs, and Liverpool in particular, are no longer geographically restricted as they have fans dotted around the country and as such ‘fears’ over fan gatherings are not instantly negated by a switch.

The hope no doubt remains that common sense will prevail when the safety advisory group meet on Wednesday where a decision is then expected soon after for the fixture which is to take place on June 21.

Liverpool could win the title in the derby should Man City lose against Arsenal on the Premier League‘s return four days earlier.


UPDATE: Thankfully, common sense has prevailed the use of neutral venus for Liverpool games on Merseyside has now been ruled out. Full story here.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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