Saturday, 2 May 2020

St George's Park: the best neutral venue to complete the league?

I admire the thought now going into 'project restart' for the Premier League. Alan Brazil on TalkSport cam up with an idea that actually sounds pretty good of using the national St George's Park, where there are 13 outdoor pitches and a hotel. 
Dean Court is probably unlikely to be needed as a neutral
venue considering how far away it is from other clubs.
I think wherever games are played it will be difficult but a complex like St George's Park does allow for a certain amount of containment for players and staff - almost like a mini village where players are put almost into a World Cup kind of setting. What makes it hard for me is the number of games that need to be played, and would the league expect teams to come and go when their fixtures are on, then go back, or could they all be based nearby. The problem of travel is going to crop up if there are several neutral venues, but if the Premier League could quarantine a big venue, and surrounding area, it would kind of be a fairly closed shop to people coming and going.

Others have suggested that the games should be played abroad like Gary Neville at SkySports, but I am not sure players will want to get on planes to fly off somewhere to finish all these matches in a more unfamiliar country. Of course the venue selection is just one of the many obstacles that the Premier League has to come up with, if it is going to get games on again.
I find the suggestion that players would have to wear masks quite hard to get my head around, as any contact will probably see the masks come off pretty quickly, but if they are made of strong material and really tightened on the face, surely they will become uncomfortable to wear for 90 minutes. Yesterday, the Premier League did mention that all the clubs do still want the league to play to a finish, which is perhaps good news for AFCB as if the league does what they have done in France, AFCB would be relegated by one goal as the French have abandoned the season, and decided to promote and relegate teams on their unfinished season.
Things may become a bit clearer on 7 May when there is another meeting but the decision can't be pushed down the road forever. UEFA want things clarified before the end of May.

In other news, AFCB will Cherry Pick the Charlton v AFCB promotion game of 2014-15 today on the YouTube Channel at 3pm

Previous post on Cherry Chimes - Which AFCB is best placed to nick an England place in 2021?

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