Football at risk of further disruption with Premier League Clubs unlikely to agree on reversing fixtures

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.

It is understood that games in the capital are at Threat because of safety concerns, with police officers likely to be redeployed at short notice to help manage the state Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

One potential solution under discussion involves London Clubs playing away from home next weekend instead of at their own stadiums.

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 because of the death of Queen Elizabeth — although matches outside London are unlikely to be impacted.

The death of the Queen, who was the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch, sent the four nations into a 10-day period of mourning, with the Premier League, EFL and Football Association in England and the Scottish FA deciding that all games scheduled for this weekend would also be called off.

The Premier League is scheduled to play its final round of games before the last pre-World Cup international break next weekend, ahead of the Queen’s state Funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19 September.

Further cancellations risk causing an unprecedented fixture pile-up in a season that will be interrupted by the first winter World Cup.

But London is expecting a record number of visitors wanting to pay their respects to the late Queen at Britain’s first state Funeral since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.

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.

When asked by The Athletic about the prospect of football matches in London being postponed next weekend, the Metropolitan Police said: “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.”

Three Premier League matches are scheduled to take place in the capital next weekend.

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.

GO DEEPER

Explained: The impact on the UK football calendar following the death of Queen Elizabeth II

(Photo: Getty Images)

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