Premier League clubs avoid re-opening old wounds

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke - eager to get back on to the football pitch Picture: Tony Thrussell

Norwich City boss Daniel Farke - eager to get back on to the football pitch Picture: Tony Thrussell - Credit: Tony Thrussell

Premier League clubs have avoided a vote on what should happen if they are unable to finish the season.

Games are due to resume in less than a fortnight, but no decision has been taken on the consequences if there is a second wave of coronavirus.

Norwich City are currently bottom of the table and would go down if the Premier League turned to a points per game calculation to decide the final standings in the event of an unfinished season.

City head coach Daniel Farke has emphasised his desire to play out the season in a bid to achieve what he calls the “little miracle” of survival.

And City’s sporting director Stuart Webber has been vocal in his determination to see fair play done – insisting that the ‘bottom’ six were not obstructing decision-making because of self-interest.

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However, reports suggest that there remains a split in the 20-strong Premier League about what should happen if the season cannot be completed.

But rather than make that an open wound by insisting on a vote, the teams at Thursday’s latest meeting agreed it was an unnecessary move, given the situation may not arise.

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The clubs did agree that the issue will not discussed if and when becomes necessary because of a second shut-down.

It was expected that the Premier League could finally put dates to the remaining 92 fixtures, but it appears they won’t be finalised until the Police have made recommendations regarding possible neutral venues.

What Thursday’s meeting did agree on was to increase the number of substitutes allowed in a match to five for the remainder of the season. Teams will now be able to have nine substitutes on the bench. It follows a temporary dispensation introduced by the game’s law-making body the International Football Association Board.

The purpose of the change is to help manage the workload of players who are returning to action after the suspension of the Premier League and who are likely to have very little further break before the 2020-21 campaign begins.

Substitutions can only be made at a maximum of three points in a match, to avoid unnecessary delays.

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