PL CURTAILMENT VOTE
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.