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PREMIER LEAGUE 'BIG SIX ' LOBBY FOR TEAMS TO BE RELEGATED AMID SABOTAGE CLAIMS





The Premier League's relegation-threatened sides are against 'Project Restart' due to the idea of using 8-10 neutral venues to play the matches - but it's claimed would play on if relegation wasn't an issue.

The Premier League is fighting to keep Project Restart on track as a bitter battle between the ‘Big Six’ and current bottom six rumbles over relegation and claims of sabotage.

Mirror Sport revealed on Friday night that civil war was in danger of breaking out amid differences in opinion over the remainder of the campaign.

The so-called 'Big Six' made a passionate presentation at Friday’s summit about why they must finish the campaign.

They stressed that they must avoid a “doomsday scenario” of ending the season, because of the huge financial impact it would have on clubs, staff and the many offshoots in their respective communities.

This week, the 20 Premier League clubs will meet again to decide whether they go ahead with ‘Project Restart’ and begin again in 8-10 neutral “approved” venues.

The Premier League told clubs it was the Government and the police who have insisted on the idea for the campaign’s remaining 92 matches - which could potentially be rolled out for the 2020-21 season too.

However, neutral grounds are being seen as the biggest single stumbling block in resuming the season and are causing a major dividing issue.

Mirror Sport understands that Brighton, West Ham, Watford, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich - the current bottom six - all spoke out against the idea on Friday.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber has gone on record as stressing that the Seagulls should be allowed to play at the Amex, preserving home advantage, and against neutral grounds.

Conversely, Crystal Palace chief Steve Parrish was strong on the economics and why the league must return at the weekend, stating it "may never recover" if it doesn't.

Palace chief Steve Parish spoke well on football returning (Image: PA)

Premier League rules mean a vote of the 20 clubs to restart will need a majority of 14 to go through.

The Times today reports that two more clubs may potentially vote against the restart, meaning the 14-6 majority would not be reached.

A source told Mirror Sport's John Cross that Newcastle, Southampton, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leicester and Sheffield United “were all very strong on finishing."

However, it’s claimed that the bottom six would potentially be ready to restart - if relegation is scrapped.

Having got wind of those claims, the Daily Mail states that the ‘Big Six’ clubs - who vote as a bloc - are lobbying for guarantees that promotion and relegation will still be implemented - even if the season is cancelled at its current point.

They are furious at what they see as sabotage and mere self-interest from those at the bottom, rather than what is best for the Premier League and English football as a whole.


As such, their move to seek a guarantee from the Premier League is putting particular pressure on the three teams in the relegation zone - Aston Villa, Norwich and Bournemouth - to break ranks and vote to play on.

Otherwise, they face having to deal with the fallout of the current problems without Premier League TV money in the future - while there would also be the situation of having to pay back money to broadcasters if this season's remaining matches aren't played.

They are threatening to destroy football just to avoid the risk of relegation,” one unnamed executive is quoted as saying.

“Their thinking is so short-sighted.”


The Premier League hopes to secure the principle for an agreement to return this week.

Unifying the league’s top and bottom is set to be new chief executive Richard Masters’ toughest task - for this week at least.






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