Premier League clubs will be asked to vote on how the season should be curtailed even if they give the green light to Project Restart next week. Photo: Reuters
Premier League clubs will be asked to vote on how the season should be curtailed even if they give the green light to Project Restart next week. Photo: Reuters

Premier League clubs to debate relegation model

By Matt Hughes Time of article published May 16, 2020

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Premier League clubs will be asked to vote on how the season should be curtailed even if they give the green light to Project Restart next week.

Sportsmail has learned a debate on the model to determine final league positions and the crucial issue of relegation will be held during Monday’s meeting of the 20 clubs, although a ballot on the subject will not take place until a follow-up meeting, which will be on May 22 or May 26.

The clubs will vote on whether to accept the Premier League’s return-to-training protocols on Monday, which are expected to go through with little opposition to enable players to resume training the following day. But the subsequent discussion over how they should end the season is likely to be far more heated.

The EFL board showed their hand yesterday by recommending the final placings in League Two be determined by a points-per-game model after the clubs voted to end their campaign. But in the Premier League, with up to £200million at stake, the issue arouses more passions even if it is only a contingency plan at this stage.

The Premier League remain committed to finishing the season, but by informing clubs of their intention to vote on curtailment models they have conceded for the first time that scrapping the season is a possibility.

FA chairman Greg Clarke has made it clear the governing body would not tolerate abandoning relegation, and they have a veto on that issue, so the debate will come down to a choice between points-per-game and a weighted model.

Norwich and Aston Villa would be relegated under both scenarios, but if a system which gave a different weighting to how many home and away games each club has left was used, West Ham would go down instead of Bournemouth. Eddie Howe’s men would be sent down on goal difference if normal points-per-game is used.

There would be no change at the top of the table, with Sheffield United jumping ahead of Wolves to sixth in both scenarios as they have played one less game, but the different models would alter the distribution of prize money in mid-table.

Tottenham would finish above Arsenal in eighth if the weighted system was used, for example, and Crystal Palace would go above Burnley into 10th.

The clubs will also discuss the Project Restart timetable, with June 19 the most plausible resumption date, as well as the logistical implications of all clubs playing the remaining 92 matches on a home and away basis. The Premier League are so confident of clubs being permitted to use their own stadiums by the Government and police, a major departure revealed by Sportsmail last week, that the subject of neutral grounds does not even appear on Monday’s agenda.

In addition, the Premier League will brief the clubs on the agreement they have reached with broadcasters to televise the remaining matches, and the financial implications of that deal.

Daily Mail

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