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  1. #1
    You can change this Bozza's Avatar
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    The neutral ground thing


    1 Not allowed!
    From The Athletic (Full piece >>> https://theathletic.com/1846039/)

    The prospect of all remaining Premier League fixtures being concluded as home and away fixtures has increased amid confusion over why neutral venues were ever proposed and uncertainty about who would ultimately make that decision.

    Police guidance originally suggested up to six matches — Manchester City v Liverpool, Manchester City v Newcastle United, Manchester United v Sheffield United, Newcastle v Liverpool, Everton v Liverpool and the game in which Liverpool could secure the title — would be played at alternative venues on the recommendation of the head of United Kingdom's Football Policing Unit, Mark Roberts.

    Last Friday, the Premier League reaffirmed its commitment to fixtures going ahead as planned, albeit without fans, just hours after a statement from Roberts said a "consensus" had been reached about using neutral venues. The Athletic has since learned of the lack of support for his plan among associated powers as well as those with influence inside football.

    This has improved the chances of neutral venues only being used as a contingency. An agreement on this measure is likely to be reached between clubs at a Premier League meeting on Thursday.

    This heightens the chances of Liverpool securing their first league title in 30 years on Merseyside, with their next two scheduled games set to be at Goodison Park and then Anfield against Crystal Palace.

    A couple of things...

    1. The initial choice of six games looked a little bit strange, didn't it? Man City v Newcastle and Man Utd v Sheff Utd - what was deemed "risky" about these games?

    2. Beyond when Liverpool win the title, it strikes me as the games most likely to pose a risk of supporters gathering are the relegation make-or-break games that may occur in the final few rounds of fixtures, although clearly quite what those will be is not known yet, but games like West Ham v Villa in the penultimate round of fixtures, or Villa v Sheff Utd could be the kid of games where some fans may seek to congegate. I wonder if there'll be contingency to move fixtures to neutral venues nearer the time?

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    • #2
      VERY part time moderator Giraffe's Avatar
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      4 Not allowed!
      I've always felt this whole neutral venue thing is nonsense.

      The reality is for the majority of games only a few will attempt to get near the stadium.

      For games of extreme importance, i.e Liverpool winning the title, wherever they play and win the title fans will congregate either outside Anfield or in the City Centre. That will happen regardless of where they play.

      Same for Leeds in the Championship.

      Not sure about the relegation games. Personally I feel so far removed from it all now, I really don't see a lot of people wanting to gather together to celebrate us getting a point away at Burnley in the last game?
    • #3
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      I can see why they'd be worried about a congregation of fans at Anfield if Liverpool won the title there (as happened with a PSG game just before their league was halted). I don't see the problem with the others.

      Am I watching Brighton or Barcelona?
    • #4
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      3 Not allowed!
      It was always a stupid idea and I'm glad the PL clubs gave it the finger it deserved.

      All you need is for an emergency power to issue a 5 year banning order, and a hefty fine, to any fans congregating within 200m of a stadium on a matchday.

      That would surely be sufficient to deter all but the most stupid bin-dipper.
    • #5

      0 Not allowed!
      Mark Roberts is DCC of South Yorkshire Police. Only this sport (well, government too) could you have a representative of the least appropriate police force when it comes to football being in charge of police matters in football.

      That said, it really shouldn't be that difficult to set up an exclusion zone around most grounds? And if some dickheads choose to turn up, the team with the most number of supporters forfeits the game (yeah, unenforceable I know but...)
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    • #6
      Members Lower West Stander's Avatar
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      2 Not allowed!
      Even when people were going to games "police advice" meant you had to postpone a game if there were more than three people shopping in Churchill Sq due to resourcing issues.

      I just take most of it with a pinch of salt. And even with half of Sussex police at the Amex they still managed to cock it up during the Palace game.
    • #7
      Brain dead MUG SHEEP Easy 10's Avatar
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      Why the hell would fans elect to travel and stand around outside an empty stadium, running the gauntlet with police moving you on, and missing the game completely when you COULD have stayed home and watched it live on TV, with a beer ?

      You would seriously have to question the intelligence of any dimbots who actually chose to do the former of those two options.
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    • #8
      Longing for retirement. AmexRuislip's Avatar
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      0 Not allowed!
      TBH even if the Albion played at the Amex behind closed doors, surely it'll still seem like a neutral venue - no atmosphere.
      All games in the PL are classed as big fixtures, isn't that the lure for all in sundry of foreign tv to stream in their countries.
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    • #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Easy 10 View Post
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      You would seriously have to question the intelligence of any dimbots who actually chose to do the former of those two options.
      Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

      Am I watching Brighton or Barcelona?
    • #10
      Harry Wilson's Tackle Harry Wilson's tackle's Avatar
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      0 Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by Giraffe View Post
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      I've always felt this whole neutral venue thing is nonsense.

      The reality is for the majority of games only a few will attempt to get near the stadium.

      For games of extreme importance, i.e Liverpool winning the title, wherever they play and win the title fans will congregate either outside Anfield or in the City Centre. That will happen regardless of where they play.

      Same for Leeds in the Championship.

      Not sure about the relegation games. Personally I feel so far removed from it all now, I really don't see a lot of people wanting to gather together to celebrate us getting a point away at Burnley in the last game?
      This. Utter madness.
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