London matches next weekend ‘at threat’ but Premier League ‘hopeful’ of return to action

Date published: Sunday 11th September 2022 9:34 - Joe Williams

Premier League football

The Premier League could be back on next weekend but matches due to take place in London are in doubt, according to reports.

Football matches at all levels were cancelled across the United Kingdom over the weekend as a mark of respect following the Queen’s death on Thursday.

The Football Association, of which the Queen was a long-standing patron, announced on Friday that all fixtures scheduled for this weekend from Premier League and EFL level down to the grassroots game would be postponed.

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It was greeted with mixed views on social media, while the Football Supporters’ Association called for fans impacted by the late cancellation of fixtures to be treated sympathetically.

With many fans already booking train tickets and hotel stays for the weekend’s away matches, chair of the FSA Malcolm Clarke hopes that supporters do not lose out because of the postponements.

Clarke said: “There’s a big question there about refunds, advance train tickets that have been booked for away games and all of that.

“We would certainly expect the rail industry and the football authorities to take a very sympathetic view of that. It’s not a good time to ask fans to spend money on things that don’t happen.”

Cricket, golf and both rugby codes decided to play on after the Government released it’s mourning guidance and the FSA released a statement on Friday.

It read: “We believe football is at its finest when bringing people together at times of huge national significance – be those moments of joy or moments of mourning.

“Our view, which we shared with the football authorities, is that most supporters would have liked to go to games this weekend and pay their respects to the Queen alongside their fellow fans.”

And now there is the possibility that matches next weekend could also face further disruption after it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral will be a week on Monday.

The Athletic claim that the Premier League ‘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’.

The report adds:

‘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.’

That means ‘further Premier League games remain at risk of being postponed’ and when The Athletic asked the Metropolitan Police about the potential for further matches being called off, they 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.”

Tottenham are scheduled to play Leicester City on the Saturday, while Brentford host Arsenal and Chelsea entertain Liverpool on the Sunday.


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