Six teams against Premier League's Project Restart ahead of crunch vote this week
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Matt Doherty scores his side’s first goal of the game, during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in London, Sunday, March 1, 2020. (Bradley Collyer/PA via AP)

The Premier League are facing opposition from six teams ahead of the crunch meeting which will determine whether the proposed ‘Project Restart’ goes ahead.

Club chiefs from all 20 top-flight sides are set to be involved in talks this Friday, where they will each vote on the strategy.

As it stands, 14 clubs are believed to be in favour of restarting, but the six clubs at the bottom of the table are against the proposals.

BrightonWest HamWatfordBournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich have all raised their concerns over the plans, all of whom are battling against relegation.

The vote must have at least a 14-6 difference for ‘Project Restart’ to pass through, and it seems that margin will be reached based on current opinion.

Whilst the bottom six are arguing against the restart, those placed just above them in the table are keen for the campaign to resume.

NewcastleSouthamptonBurnley and Crystal Palace are all strongly in favour of completing the season, while high-fliers Leicester and Sheffield United are also backing the plans.

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West Ham and Brighton chiefs have already been vocal publicly about scrapping the season.

The Hammers are on the same points as Bournemouth, who are just inside the relegation zone, while Brighton sit just two ahead.

One of Brighton’s main grievances is that five of their remaining nine matches are due to be played at home, though the Premier League’s proposals would see fixtures contested at neutral venues.

All games will be behind closed doors, and the FA have already offered Wembley for use.

But Brighton feel they would be sacrificing home advantage – often a great leveller against the big sides, and four of whom they will be playing.

Safety concerns have also been voiced, in particular by Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow.

The Premier League’s response is to carry out 1,000 tests per week, while limiting those allowed into stadiums to a maximum of 300 including all players, team staff and officials.

That does not iron out the issue though, as without a vaccine available it is impossible to completely guarantee anyone’s health.

Much of the plan is dependant on Government backing, with the Premier League meeting due to take place less than 24 hours after the next lockdown restrictions are announced on Thursday.

Each club will be given an equal chance to put forward their views, before casting their vote later in the meeting.

Should the Premier League get the 14-6 vote required, the season is pencilled in to return on June 12.

 

 

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