Daily Mail


- EX­CLU­SIVE By MATT HUGHES Chief Sports Re­porter Sports · Soccer · Poland · The Football Association

PREMIER LEAGUE clubs will vote to­mor­row on a cur­tail­ment plan to de­ter­mine fi­nal league po­si­tions if sub­se­quent sea­sons are aban­doned, Sports­mail has learned. The top-flight clubs want clar­ity on the is­sue and a mech­a­nism for de­cid­ing fi­nal stand­ings to be writ­ten into the com­pe­ti­tion’s rules after con­tro­versy over

cur­tail­ment threat­ened to de­rail Project Restart last sea­son. In the Premier League meet­ings dur­ing lock­down, the clubs failed to agree how the 2019-20 cam­paign should be de­cided if it could not be com­pleted on the pitch due to the pan­demic, a prob­lem that was even­tu­ally over­come by the Government en­dors­ing a re­sump­tion on a biose­cure ba­sis. The com­pet­ing pro­pos­als for cur­tail­ment put for­ward in­cluded the sus­pen­sion of rel­e­ga­tion, league po­si­tions de­ter­mined by points-per-game or a weighted ver­sion of av­er­age points, tak­ing into ac­count home and away matches played. The FA ef­fec­tively ve­toed scrap­ping rel­e­ga­tion due to the detri­men­tal im­pact such a dra­matic move could have on the EFL, and the re­sul­tant threat of legal ac­tion, so that so­lu­tion has not been re-vis­ited. In­stead, the Premier League are set to pro­pose that if next sea­son has to be cur­tailed, ex­ist­ing league po­si­tions would stand if each club had played a min­i­mum of 19 matches. This will be put to a vote of the clubs. Points-per-game would be used if clubs had played a dif­fer­ent num­ber of matches at the time of cur­tail­ment, as­sum­ing half the league cam­paign had been com­pleted. The Premier League will also fi­nalise broad­cast­ing ar­range­ments for next sea­son to­mor­row, with sev­eral fans’ groups de­mand­ing that ex­tra live games are tele­vised un­til sup­port­ers are per­mit­ted to re­turn to sta­di­ums. An ad­di­tional 20 matches have been made avail­able to the rights-hold­ers, tak­ing the num­ber to be screened live to 220 out of 380. But many clubs are re­luc­tant to give up more games free of charge and the broad­cast­ers are un­will­ing to increase their fees. A pro­posal to increase the num­ber of sub­sti­tu­tions avail­able to man­agers from three to five will also be dis­cussed.

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