Premier League Restart: Aston Villa Says No to Neutral Venues With Reasons

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Aston Villa has joined the league of Premier League clubs that might not vote in favour of playing the remaining 92 fixtures of the league on neutral grounds.

The 20 clubs in the Premier League have been discussing how the 2019-2020 season which has been interrupted since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic, can be completed.

One of the recommendations in their “project restart” proposal is for the remaining 92 fixtures to be staged far away from the home grounds of the clubs instead of the usual home-and-away format.

This recommendation is to help in minimising the possibility of fans disobeying the social distancing policy which is being enforced to contain the spread of the dreaded virus.

The chief executive officer of Aston Villa, Christian Purslow said playing at neutral venues is disadvantageous to Aston Villa which has a good home record.

Besides that, he said clubs who are at risk of relegation face a “£200million catastrophe” if they are forced to play away from their natural home grounds.

No Neutral ground for Aston Villa

No Neutral ground for Aston Villa
Some Aston Villa players

In this light, Christian Purslow stressed that the implications of the financial losses suffered by Premier League clubs were far greater at the bottom end of the table.

So, he revealed that he is against the idea of playing the remaining fixtures on neutral grounds, making him the second club executive after Brighton chief executive Paul Barber to kick against the proposal.

“We’re a club that prides itself on home form. Two-thirds of our wins this season have come at home”, Purslow told TalkSports.

“We’ve got six home games left to play and I think any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn’t agree to that unless those circumstances are right.

“When you say to any club, ‘We want you to agree to a bunch of rule changes that may make it more likely that you get relegated’, they’re not thinking about TV money, they’re thinking, ‘My goodness, am I going to agree to something that results in me being relegated and losing £200million?”

The sentiment of Christian Purslow is based on the fact that his club occupies the 19th spot on the league table though with one extra unplayed match more than other teams around the club. Aston Villa can only guarantee themselves a Premier League stay if they can win the 10 matches left for them to play when the season resumes.

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