Premier League

Premier League discussing moving matchday 37 to allow fans to attend

Tom Gott
Feb 25, 2021, 3:15 PM GMT
The Premier League want more fans in stadiums
The Premier League want more fans in stadiums | Gareth Copley/Getty Images
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The Premier League are discussing the idea of delaying the 37th round of fixtures to give fans another chance to see their teams in action before the end of the campaign.

The UK government recent revealed plans to allow up to 10,000 fans back into stadiums from May 17, which would could in time for the final round of games, which is currently scheduled to get underway six days later on May 23.

However, concerns were quickly raised over whether this would damage the sporting integrity of the league as only ten teams would have the chance to play in front of fans. With potentially crucial fixtures like Leicester vs. Tottenham and Fulham vs. Newcastle on the cards, there are fears the home side would gain an unfair advantage by playing in front of fans.

In an attempt to combat that, The Athletic state that league officials are contemplating pushing matchday 37, which stars on May 15, back a few days so that it falls after the governments target for the return of fans.

This would allow the remaining ten sides to play in front of fans for one game as well, which would hopefully level the playing field around the league.

For this plan to be put into action, an emergency shareholders meeting would need to be called to discuss the situation, while the impact it would have on broadcasters would also need to be considered.

The Premier League are thought to be flexible when it comes to fixture dates, and there is also an awareness that two games will have to be pushed back anyway because of the FA Cup final, which will also be held on May 15.

England is making real progress when it comes to the return of fans, so much so that the UK have offered to host the entirety of next summer's European Championships, which is currently planned to be held across 12 countries - not exactly ideal right now.

Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri even goes as far as to say that UEFA are keen on the idea of one host nation and currently see England as the best bet.

A final decision on the Euros is not expected to be taken until April, once UEFA have a better idea of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak across Europe.

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