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PL clubs to vote on whether Meryseyside derby can be played at Goodison

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Premier League clubs will vote today on whether to allow the Merseyside derby to be played at Goodison Park after the city’s top cop backed such a plan.

The matter of neutral venues will be decided at today’s virtual meeting of all 20 top flight clubs.

And Chief Constable of Merseyside, Andy Cooke, has indicated to the Premier League he is confident the force can maintain public safety for any games in the city.

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 up to 12 ‘high profile’ matches on neutral grounds.

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

Many clubs disagree with that proposal, with the bottom six clubs in particular keen to see the integrity of the competition maintained.

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

Their case has now been given the powerful backing of the Chief Constable Cooke, who is also the national police lead on crime, and a powerful figure in the force.

In a statement on Friday, Merseyside Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden said it was possible for the derby to take place at Goodison.

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.

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

Sky have also confirmed they will screen the match free, via free to air platforms, which means supporters are likely to stay at home.

Everton have indicated they are happy to go along with the Premier League majority.

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 - are unlikely to raise any serious objections.

But should the clubs vote to hold all derbies at neutral venues, it will be a choice between Wembley or Villa Park to host the Merseyside derby.

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

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