Premier League clubs are hopeful of returning to action next weekend but there is the potential for disagreement over where fixtures should be played amid concerns over staging matches in London.
The matches that are scheduled to be played in London are in doubt due to safety concerns and a lack of policing, with police officers likely to be redeployed at short notice to help manage the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
London is expecting a record number of visitors wanting to pay their respects to the late Queen. That would naturally lead to the redeployment of a significant number of emergency workers in what is expected to be one of the largest police operations in the history of the country.
According to The Athletic, one potential solution being discussed is that all London clubs play their games away from home next weekend. For example, Chelsea are scheduled to play Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but instead will travel to Anfield to relieve pressure on the Metropolitan Police.
But, this idea is unlikely to prove popular with clubs who would have to host a new home game at one week’s notice, owing to the complications that come with staffing matches at short notice.
Such a late change would also leave these clubs facing the unprecedented challenge of staging an unplanned home game at one week’s notice, with very little time to find staff, and sell tickets to home and away fans.
As such, further Premier League games remain at risk of being postponed, although matches outside London are unlikely to be impacted.
When asked the Metropolitan Police, they said via The Athletic, “Whether matches go ahead is a matter for the footballing authorities.
“If fixtures do take place the Met will work with the relevant partners and ensure that appropriate policing plans are in place.”
On Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur are scheduled to host Leicester City. Brentford are slated to play against Arsenal on Sunday, with Chelsea entertaining Liverpool in the late kick-off.
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