Premier League clubs are fearful of losing further fixtures next weekend due to policing and logistical issues after deciding to postpone the entire programme this weekend as a mark of respect to the Queen.
The clubs met in London on Friday morning and heard the league’s board unanimously recommend the postponement of the most immediate round – a move at odds with most other major sports, who have decided to play on.
The motion was debated, with some clubs wondering whether it would be better to pay tribute to her majesty by staging the matches with appropriate gestures and messaging, although it was accepted by them all.
The intention is to resume next weekend but with the funeral expected to take place around the following Monday, there are concerns from the clubs that the massive police operation required in the buildup as well as on the day could impact on their ability to get matches away safely – especially in London.
Tottenham are scheduled to face Leicester on Saturday at 5.30pm with Brentford hosting Arsenal on the Sunday at 2pm and Chelsea hosting Liverpool later that day at 4.30pm. Brighton’s home game against Crystal Palace, scheduled for 3pm on Saturday, had already been postponed because of the upheaval caused by a planned train strike. However, the industrial action has now been called off out of respect to the Queen.
There is the acknowledgement that losing one round of games is a headache in an already congested calendar but two would present acute challenges. Therefore, the league and the clubs would try to get away whichever matches they could next weekend, with the feeling being that a partially completed round would be better than no round at all.