Christian Purslow: Aston Villa chief against neutral venues plan – BBC News

Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has scored three of his seven league goals at home this season

Aston Villa chief executive Christian Purslow is against playing the remaining Premier League fixtures at neutral grounds to complete the season.

Top-flight clubs have been told that using up to 10 neutral stadiums will be the only way to finish the campaign.

“We’re a club that prides itself on home form,” he said.

Purslow’s comments come after Villa boss Dean Smith said his side were “ready and keen” to restart the season when it is “right to do so”.

Villa were 19th in the table and had played a game fewer than the other teams in the bottom half when the campaign was suspended on 13 March.

They had managed five league wins at home compared to two victories on the road and earned 17 points at Villa Park as opposed to eight on their travels.

“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,” added Purslow, who was speaking to Talksport.

League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan has said the 2019-20 Premier League season could be cancelled if clubs do not agree to play in neutral venues.

A vote is set to take place on Monday on proposals for a return to football.

Brighton have already said they are “not in favour” of the idea of using neutral venues as it may affect the “integrity” of the league, with West Ham also reportedly not in favour.

However, a growing number of Premier League clubs are open to playing the remaining fixtures at neutral venues but with the threat of relegation removed.

“At the bottom end of the table there’s a much smaller revenue base, but the risk of relegation is probably a £200m catastrophe for any club that mathematically could still go down,” said Purslow.

“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 £200m?”‘

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