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January 19 2021 8.49am

Palace chairman Parish backing neutral ground fixtures

May 5 2020

Steve Parish

Steve Parish

Crystal Palace chief Steve Parish says playing out the remainder of the Premier League at neutral stadiums is the "least-worst option".

The Premier League will hold their 'Project Restart' meeting on Monday and plan to refresh the season ideally in the week beginning June 8 once some of the coronavirus social restrictions are relaxed.

It's reported that clubs affected by relegation are worried about matches being played on neutral grounds but Parish told Sky Sports that he feels it's the best solution in this difficult time.

"I said this in the meeting and I honestly believe that I would be saying the same thing," he said. "I do fear that people aren't looking far enough down the road and seeing the consequences of us not playing. I think the best way to resolve that is to do so competitively.

"It's the least worst option. That's the territory we're in with life at the moment. Next season, in all likelihood, we'll start with neutral grounds, and I'm sure we'd like to get back into our stadiums as soon as possible. There will be a distortion of the competition that way around.

"All the pitches are pretty much the same size, and an empty stadium is an empty stadium. I think it'll be a level playing field from when we start.

"As with any season, there will be bumps and idiosyncrasies... you can have injuries during the season and fixtures rescheduled, all sorts of things that can play against you during the season. Luck does play a part and I'm sure most clubs now will have a fully fit squad so there are swings and roundabouts."

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