Gary Neville suggests remaining Premier League matches could be played in parts of Europe not affected by COVID-19

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Gary Neville has put forward the idea of playing the remaining Premier League matches this season abroad.

Talks are ongoing regarding how the 2019/20 campaign can be restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic at their next shareholders’ meeting on Friday.

COVID-19 has put the Premier League on hold since March

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COVID-19 has put the Premier League on hold since March

The ‘Project Restart’ discussions will focus on the use of approved venues which could lead to matches being played at neutral grounds, including Wembley Stadium and St George’s Park.

It immediately throws up questions over the competition’s integrity but former Manchester United defender Neville believes the powers that be should consider playing matches in countries not affected by COVID-19.

He told Sky Sports: “If the Premier League were really serious about delivering the matches that remain in the most safe environment, they would move it to one of the two or three spots that are within three or four hours of this country that are coronavirus-free, or virtually coronavirus-free.

“They would take the Premier League over to that country — the players, the broadcasters, the media — and quarantine for a week before delivering it in an environment that has proven it can handle coronavirus.

“There are spots in Europe that have not got coronavirus at this time which could handle the league finishing. If they were serious about delivering it with a safe outcome, they could do that.”

Neville believes playing matches in the UK wouldn’t be safe

Sky Sports PL

Neville believes playing matches in the UK wouldn’t be safe

Neville’s comments come after Brighton chief executive Paul Barber suggested playing all games home and away would be a ‘further imperfection’ to the already accepted flaw of playing behind closed doors.

Liverpool are a club who would support the idea of resuming the season so they can secure their first ever Premier League title, however the city’s mayor expressed his reservations due to fears over crowds gathering outside Anfield.

In response to Joe Anderson’s comments, the club said: “As a club, we are aware of and disappointed by comments attributed to Mayor Joe Anderson in a media interview which was published today.

“As well as a lack of evidence to support such claims, we would also point to recent discussions with Mayor Anderson relating to the possibility of any behind-closed-doors football, which concluded that it is important that key stakeholders across the city continue to engage and work collaboratively.

Jamie O’Hara believes the only way forward is to end the season immediately

“In recent weeks, we have engaged with supporters’ groups who have informed us of their determination to respect social distancing measures and, in the event of a resumption of football being announced, we would continue to work with them and other key stakeholders in keeping with our collective desire to achieve this crucial objective.

“As part of our ongoing operations, we are in regular contact with the Mayor and his office and we hope these conversations can continue.

“In the meantime, our primary focus remains responding to the humanitarian crisis which continues to unfold and in particular providing ongoing support to various NHS initiatives and those experiencing food poverty and social isolation.”






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