Bush has written to all 20 Premier League clubs saying that Merseyside Police have made it clear that they believe they can cope with Everton v Liverpool and any Anfield title-clinching game despite concerns raised by National Police Chiefs’ Council football lead officer Mark Roberts.
The letter – obtained by the Daily Mail – says that there may be a maximum of four Premier League games played at neutral venues of the 92 fixtures still remaining, though it seems more likely that will be reduced to two – Manchester City v Liverpool (but perhaps only if Liverpool are still to claim the title) and Newcastle United v Liverpool.
It is thought that Greater Manchester Police will eventually relent on Manchester City v Newcastle and Manchester United v Sheffield United, which always seemed like odd choices.
The letter from Bush reads:
‘Merseyside Police released a further statement on Friday that, in their view, the Premier League matches scheduled for their area were within their capacity to cover.
‘From further enquiries, I understand that the process of review continues at the other two local police forces which had previously requested fixtures be moved.
‘Of course, in the current circumstances, risks still remain and, as a fallback, we will continue to prepare for neutral venues for any match, in case they are needed, so that we can react swiftly to any withdrawal of a safety certificate.
‘However, it would appear that there is every possibility that the final list of matches proposed for movement to neutral venues for policing reasons will be reduced to a maximum of four, depending on the final decisions by Greater Manchester Police and Northumbria Police.’
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