06132021

Watford, Brighton & Aston Villa probably can’t stop Project Restart & the bigger obstacles to the Premier League’s plans


Watford, Brighton & Aston Villa probably can’t stop Project Restart

Monday’s a big day for the Premier League.

All 20 Premier League clubs will sit on a conference call to hash out how the 2019-20 season will resolve.

Already, many assume the meeting won’t provide any concrete answers.

Here’s the rules: if 14 Premier League teams agree on the terms of Project Restart, the motion passes.

When it comes to the opponents of Project Restart, Watford, Brighton and Aston Villa have all shown their cards.

This weekend, Watford chairman Scott Duxbury called Project Restart “unfair”. In an essay posted on the club’s website, Duxbury wrote:

We are now told we cannot play our remaining home games at Vicarage Road and the familiarity and advantage that brings…

So is this fair? Does it have any semblance of sporting integrity? Of course not.

Meanwhile, Brighton’s Paul Barber has voiced his concerns that restarting activities in the UK too soon could “cost lives”.

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has also been vocal against the Premier League’s plans to resume. Speaking to the Times, Purslow said:

We’re nowhere near having found the formula to complete the season.

 

Watford, Brighton & Aston Villa can’t get the votes

Rob Draper, the chief football writer for the Mail on Sunday, has posted a thread on why Watford, Brighton and Aston Villa will likely fail in their efforts to stop Project Restart.

It goes without saying that all three clubs are battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League. The thinking is, if the league can’t restart, relegation will be voided.

However, Rob Draper argued that “no relegation just isn’t an option”.

Returning to the vote counting to stop Project Restart, Rob Draper believes that West Ham may be the only other club to vote against the motion.

 

These are the bigger obstacles to resuming the 2019-20 Premier League season

On Sunday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation on the government’s latest lockdown measures.

It’s possible that the Prime Minister could ban the return of the Premier League.

That’s what’s already happened in countries like Belgium, Holland and France.

Yet, after Dominic Raab told the press that the Premier League’s return could help “lift the spirits” of the public, it feels unlikely that the UK will stop the Project Restart plans.

Could the players stop the Premier League resumption plans?

Some of the papers this weekend reported that up to 50 footballers may decide against returning to action even if Project Restart goes ahead.

However, as discussed by Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday on the BBC, if players decide to not plan, the outcome is likely to be that their wishes are granted but the football will push on.

What about the medical community? Could they stop the Premier League’s resumption?

Last week four doctors working for Premier League clubs joined forces to petition the Premier League against the league’s restart plans.

These doctors listed over 100 concerns including who will take responsibility if a player contracts Covid-19 after playing a game.

However, there’s so far been little to suggest that these doctors have influenced public policy on the Premier League’s return.

Now it is the broadcasters who are back in control”

While the doctors are ignored, the Telegraph’s chief football writer, Sam Wallace, points out the biggest voice in the room when it comes to the Premier League’s return:

Like it or not, the league was essentially built by broadcasters…

Now it is the broadcasters who are back in control again and who will be able to shape the market in this new world of football without supporters in neutral stadiums.

The very least they will expect for their yet-to-be-honoured £762 million in broadcast contracts will be the jeopardy of a relegation battle at the conclusion of season 2019-2020, whenever that is played.

The broadcasters are calling the tune now and the Premier League clubs who meet on Monday must accept that reality and find a way to deliver a simple task. Namely that three of them are going down.

Also see: Best Netflix, Amazon & YouTube football documentaries & movies to watch during coronavirus isolation

9 best football documentaries to watch on ESPN+ during COVID-19 quarantine


This article was edited by Benjamin Newman.

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