Brighton CEO admits self-inter...

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Brighton CEO admits self-interest behind opposition to neutral venues

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

03:07 7 May 2020


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Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber admits fear of relegation is what's driving their opposition to playing games at neutral venues. 

The idea is just one believed to be contained within the Premier League's 'Project Restart' document.

Clubs are due to discuss it in more depth on Friday, but some - Brighton included - have already voiced strong opposition to some of its contents.

If the Premier League does resume, the Seagulls will be 15th in the table and just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Fellow strugglers Aston Villa have also voiced their unhappiness at the prospect of playing at a neutral venue.

Their chief executive Christian Purslow used this analogy, "It’s like the Grand National which we are restarting at Ascot rather than Aintree and the horses aren’t the same and if jockeys are sick they change as well."

Between eight and ten neutral venues could be used, but Barber is dead-set against it, "I can’t be in favour of something which disadvantages our club."

Brighton have won just four games at their AmEx home all season, and none of their last four in the top flight.

"We want to see the league out on a fair basis", Barber added.

"If we were relegated (on that basis) then that’s one of the consequences of playing in such a competitive league, but we would be disappointed if we were relegated if that competition changed after 75 per cent of games had been played."

The clubs will convene via videoconference on Friday, while players and managers are due to be briefed by UK government medical specialists on Monday.

Barber continued, "We haven’t seen the completed plan. At the moment we have got certain pieces, but not all of the pieces.

“It is important over the next few days that we start to see a complete picture of everything we are being asked to agree to.

"We accept there are going to have to be compromises, but we can’t support something that will jeopardise our place in the Premier League."


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