The remainder of the Premier League season won’t take place at neutral venues following a change of heart from those in charge, according to reports.
The Daily Mail report that the Government are now pledging to reconsider clubs completing fixtures at their own stadiums. The Premier League were previously pushing neutral venues, but they’re now reversing that decision.
The one key condition is that the clubs pay for the officers required to keep fans away. The Government are in talks with the league about using managers and players to convince fans to stay at home to watch the games.
At least 12 clubs were strongly against the initial venue proposal, including Arsenal. Presumably, the Gunners would rather play on big pitches like the Emirates, the Etihad and Spurs’ stadium than risk playing those same games on training pitches or similar.
Obviously, it won’t make a difference in terms of the fans. They can’t attend either way. Plus, Arsenal actually have more away games than home remaining.
But the difference is that the Gunners already know all the grounds they have left to visit. They have four home games guaranteed, plus six other stadiums they’ve played in before. It’s a known quantity, and that’s likely what appeals to them.