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PL clubs to discuss whether Everton vs Liverpool can be played at Goodison

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Premier League clubs will hold further talks on Monday on whether to allow the Merseyside derby to be played at Goodison after the city’s top cop backed such a plan.

It is understood the matter of neutral venues will be discussed at a special virtual meeting of all 20 top flight clubs on Monday - which continues extensive unofficial talks that have taken place over the weekend. 

And sources suggest they will make a decision in principle, before an official Premier League meeting to be held on Thursday. 

In principle, there is a unanimous voice from clubs to finish the season on a home and away basis, but the national police lead for football, deputy chief constable Mark Roberts of South Yorkshire police, had argued in favour of 12 ‘high profile’ matches on neutral grounds.

That would include all derbies, and some of the biggest games - including many relating to Liverpool’s impending title triumph - switched to alternative venues.

The Mirror has learnt though that many clubs still disagree with that argument, with the bottom six clubs in particular keen to see the integrity of the competition maintained as much as possible.

Klopp and Ancelotti's sides could yet face off on neutral territory (Image: AFP via Getty Images) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles

Liverpool too have argued that making any decision which questions the behaviour and motives of their fans would be inappropriate, given there is no evidence at all to suggest they would gather at Anfield or Goodison.

Their case has now been given the powerful backing of the Chief Constable of Merseyside, Andy Cooke, who has indicated to the Premier League that he is happy to and confident the force can maintain public safety for any games in the city.

Cooke is also the national police lead on crime and a powerful figure in the force, so his word will be taken seriously by the clubs. In a statement on Friday, Merseyside police said it was possible for the derby to take place at Goodison.

“In relation to crime and disorder we have no objections to any of the Everton or Liverpool home fixtures being played at their respective grounds,” Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said. 

The derby - on June 20 - could become the biggest game in Liverpool’s season, with their rivals Manchester City due to kick off the return of the Premier League on June 17.

Should City lose that game, against Arsenal, it would mean victory for Liverpool in the derby would secure the title, making it massive contest.

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There have been fears that such a scenario could persuade fans to gather outside Goodison if the fixture is played there, but the backing of the Chief Constable provides a strong counter-argument.

Sky have also confirmed they will screen the match free to ALL fans, via free to air platforms, which means supporters are likely to stay at home to watch such a huge contest. 

Everton have indicated they are happy to go along with the Premier League majority, but they too have expressed total faith in their fans to abide by rules relating to social distancing and safety during the Coronavirus crisis.

If the bottom six stick to their guns, and Liverpool back them, that could be enough to persuade the rest of the clubs to follow, and the national police lead may not object following the backing of Merseyside’s Chief Constable. 

Liverpool city council, who chair the Safety Advisory Group - which decides if games are safe to go ahead in the city - have also expressed their faith in fans, and would be unlikely to raise any serious objections.

Talks have been ongoing throughout the weekend, as they thrash out the issue. 

But should the clubs vote to hold all derbies at neutral venues, then there will be a choice between stadiums in either Birmingham or London to host the Merseyside derby, and we understand Wembley and Villa Park will be the alternatives.

For more news relating to Everton, visit our sister site EFC Live.

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