Brighton CEO Paul Barber emphasizes that the club will not accept proposals to play out in neutral stages for the rest of the season pending a major vote on this next week – admitting that it is acting out of self-interest.
The fate of Project Restart is at stake pending Monday’s crucial vote as top chefs continue to talk to government figures about a possible restart of the campaign, and a bottleneck remains hoping to get the action going again to get.
Some teams are concerned that playing outside their home area will cause them a significant disadvantage, especially for those who stagger near the drop zone. Brighton – which is two points above the drop zone – has made no secret of their opposition to the move, saying the plans “potentially have a material impact on the integrity of competition.”
Brighton CEO Paul Barber will not change his mind about playing on neutral grounds
The seagulls don’t want to play outside the Amex Stadium for the rest of the season
The Premier League is aiming for 14 votes to change the rule that all 19 home games must take place in an approved stadium, which is considered crucial for the campaign to be completed.
Brighton is among the bottom six teams looking to derail the move, with Barber arguing that getting rid of the Amex is ‘unfair’ and ‘not the right way’.
To talk with BBC Radio 5Live Monday night he said: ‘Neutral locations just change the nature of the competition and what we consider unfair and not the right way. That is speaking for self-interest.
“My job is to represent Brighton and Hove Albion and our interests remain in the Premier League.
Barber says the proposals threaten the integrity of competition and jeopardize their survival
Wembley Stadium is one of the leading contenders to host games when the season restarts
“What we are not going to do and what we cannot do is support something [neutral grounds] that diminishes that outlook [of staying in the Premier League] because that would be wrong. ‘
Wembley Stadium, Villa Park and West Ham’s London Stadium have all been thrown out as contenders to host matches due to the fear of match days near urban areas with the possibility of fans gathering outdoors.
When clubs vote next week, it is believed that the bottom six in the table will all veto, the Times said.
Barber believes the plans are ‘unfair’ for Brighton players when the season resumes
West Ham and Aston Villa are two of the bottom six clubs that will reportedly reject the move
There only needs to be one more member from Norwich, Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Watford, West Ham and Brighton to follow the plans in their footsteps – and it is thought that there are at least four more teams on the side of the ‘Rebel Six could choose.
There is speculation about who those teams might be and what their possible motivations are to stay on their own ground.
Clubs with favorable positions at the top of the table, such as Leicester and Chelsea, may benefit from voting no, but there is no evidence that this will happen.
West Ham’s London Stadium is another possible venue for clubs once plans are approved
Leicester and Chelsea, managed by Brendan Rodgers, left, and Frank Lampard, right, are unlikely to vote against playing on neutral grounds
Bunley is in 10th place and may possibly decide that playing in a neutral location away from Turf Moor would be a disadvantage, although that remains to be seen.
A handful of teams may have little left to play for, but a small group over the bottom six is not yet free from danger and will also be concerned that their future in the top flight could be at increased risk by saying goodbye to home territory.
Newcastle is about to be taken over by the Saudi state, which has huge ambitions for the club. They could choose to reject the move amid fears of relegation so soon in their tenure, which would be a disaster for them.
Newcastle could potentially join the Rebel Six amid their impending takeover and fear of relegation
Although the magpies are only five points away from the ideal 40-point safety target, the risk remains that playing on neutral soils can dive their form.
And just among them are Southampton – who has done something miraculous by taking himself out of the bottom three, despite a sad form last year and an infamous 9-0 hammering by Leicester.
So the Chinese owners of the club, who are said to be considering a sale, may fear the consequences of knocking out St Mary’s for the remaining nine games, especially after all the hard work of manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and his players has taken 34 to get points.
Carragher has suggested that self-interest is at the core of struggling parties opposed to a restart
It’s because former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher criticized teams that were almost hypocritical, and responded to reports that they would change their attitude to neutral terrain as long as relegation was out of the question.
“The bottom six clubs were boisterous about why the league would not continue, legitimate reasons, everyone was concerned about the safety of players and fans and took things away from the NHS,” he said on the Sky Sports’ Football Show.
“But what struck me was that clubs were at neutral locations, and once relegation was cleared, it was suddenly fine to play on neutral ground. They then lost much of their argument.
“The teams at the top find it difficult to talk about wanting to continue the season because it looks insensitive. As soon as relegation was removed from the table, they were fine. ‘