Aston Villa against Premier League neutral venues proposal, says chief executive Christian Purslow

May 06, 2020

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow has voiced his opposition to the use of neutral grounds to complete the Premier League season.

Premier League clubs remain committed to finishing the 2019/20 season, but this will only be possible if eight to 10 neutral venues are used to play the remaining 92 fixtures.

Purslow warned clubs would not support measures that increased the risk of the "£200million catastrophe" that is relegation, after Brighton chief executive Paul Barber opposed the idea at the weekend.

"Personally I'm against it," Purslow said on talkSPORT.

"We're a club that prides itself on home form. Two-thirds of our wins this season have come at home.

"We've got six home games left to play and I think any Villa fan would agree that giving up that advantage is a massive decision for somebody running Aston Villa and I certainly wouldn't agree to that unless those circumstances are right."

Purslow likened discussions around Project Restart with the Brexit debate, because though there is consensus that football should resume as soon as it is safe to do so, there is no clear answer on how to do it.

He said that while the day-to-day financial losses due to the shutdown were greater at the top end of the table, for those near the bottom the implications were far greater.

"At the bottom end of the table there's a much smaller revenue base, but the risk of relegation is probably a £200million catastrophe for any club that mathematically could still go down," he said.

"When you say to any club, 'We want you to agree to a bunch of rule changes that may make it more likely that you get relegated', they're not thinking about TV money, they're thinking, 'My goodness, am I going to agree to something that results in me being relegated and losing £200million?"'

Villa, having played a game less than those around them, sit in the relegation zone as things stand, two points behind West Ham who are outside the bottom three on goal difference, with Brighton a further two points better off in 15th place.

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