Aston Villa chief Christian Purslow has revealed publicly that he does not support the plan to play the remaining 92 games of the Premier League season at neutral stadium sites.
[ MORE: Possible neutral stadiums ]
The plan for the 2019-20 Premier League season being finished is expected to hinge on 14 of the 20 clubs voting in favor of playing games at neutral venues across the UK.
Speaking to talkSPORT in the UK, Villa’s CEO Christian Purslow confirmed he would not support the idea and revealed that everyone connected with the club would share a similar thought process.
“Personally I’m against it,” Purslow said. “We’re a club that prides itself on home form. Two-thirds of our wins this season have come at home. We’ve got six home games left to play and I think any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn’t agree to that unless those circumstances are right.”
The UK government has currently set lockdown measures until May 7 and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will now give his next update on Sunday, May 10.
The next Premier League club meeting will be on Monday, May 11 to move ‘project restart’ to the next phase, where it is expected clubs will vote on whether or not to resume the season. All 20 Premier League clubs have so far agreed that they want to finish the current campaign but only when things improve and it is safe to play again, as well as certain protocols being put in place.
If Aston Villa don’t agree to this plan, will other clubs follow suit? Brighton have already publicly declared they will not be willing to give up home advantage, while reports suggest the bottom six teams are wavering in their support of a return as they don’t want to increase their chance of relegation from the Premier League.
Purslow added that relegation would be a “$250 million catastrophe” for Aston Villa or any other Premier League club that were to be relegated, but we already know that the financial implications with being relegated to the Championship are significant.
Villa sit in 19th place, two points from safety but have a game in hand over their relegation rivals.
It is clear there are many obstacles ahead aside from medical issues for the Premier League to sort through and these comments from Purslow show how tough it will be for all 20 clubs to agree on the right path forward.