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"One thing doesn't cancel out the other" | Brighton Chairman against using neutral venues

Brighton Chairman Paul Barber says the club is "not in favour" of using neutral venues to complet...



Soccer

"One thing doesn't cancel out the other" | Brighton Chairman against using neutral venues

Brighton Chairman Paul Barber says the club is "not in favour" of using neutral venues to complete the Premier League season.

While Barber concedes the club will cede some compromises, the particularly difficult fixture list for his side in the closing stages of the campaign as the club hovers over the relegation zone is a bridge too far.

"Clearly, we must all be prepared to accept some compromises," Barber told the club website.

"We fully appreciate why playing behind closed doors is very likely to be a necessary compromise to play our remaining games while continuing to fully support the government's efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus."

"But at this critical point in the season, playing matches in neutral venues has, in our view, potential to have a material effect on the integrity of the competition."

Disadvantages

Brighton have not won a Premier League game since December and as one of five clubs with less than 30 points in the table are set for a relegation dogfight in their closing nine fixtures.

"Five of our nine remaining matches are due to be played at the Amex - all five matches are very difficult but four are against some of the biggest clubs in European football," Barber added.

"The disadvantages of us not playing the league's top teams in our home stadium and in familiar surroundings, even with 27,000 Albion fans very unlikely to be present at the Amex, are very obvious.

"Clearly, we must accept there may also be some benefit from playing our remaining four away matches at neutral venues but the fixture list simply isn't equally balanced at this stage of the season, and we didn't play our first 29 matches of the season in this way. So, in our opinion, one thing doesn't cancel out the other."

Responding to reports that The Amex Stadium would be one of the neutral venues, Barber said the club has not been consulted.

“We haven’t been asked if we would consider our stadium being used as a neutral venue for any remaining Premier League matches - by our colleagues at the league, the government or the police – and at this point we haven’t been approached to have such a discussion either so I am unable to say why our stadium has been included in the reports.”

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