If comments by Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish are to be believed then Southampton faces the prospect of not returning this season.
The Premier League is currently in the midst of what’s being called ‘operation restart’. The aim of the project is to restart the campaign by June.
However, speaking to the BBC Parish admitted that may be “beyond” the top-flight’s best efforts.
The head of the Eagles said:
“We would be derelict in our duty if we didn’t find a way to try and bring the game back.”
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The chairman of the London club then sadly added that:
“It may prove beyond us.”
This is perhaps because the bottom six clubs are said to be against proposals to play matches on neutral venues. As Sky Sports further explains:
“They believe giving up home advantage could affect their chances of staying up and compromise the integrity of the competition.”
At least 14 sides would need to vote in favour of the proposal in order for it to pass.
With half a dozen relegation threatened teams already opposed, this makes a positive vote tight. SFC, currently sit in 14th and a relatively comfortable seven points clear of the relegation zone.
It is also worth noting that for British sport let alone football to resume it must meet with government approval. Although the UK government is to review the status of the lockdown on Sunday, (May 10) fans should not expect football’s immediate return.
Those missing the thrill of Saints in action may be able to take a crumb of comfort from the resumption of the German league from 16 May. The German government has already eased many of the previous restrictions, but matches will commence behind closed doors.
Nevertheless, Parish sees the Bundesliga as a potential roadmap for the English to follow. Speaking again to the BBC he said:
“The German example could provide a blueprint for us and clearly we can see some of the early challenges.”