Merseyside derby on June 21 could take place nearly 200 miles away from Goodison Park in SOUTHAMPTON if Everton’s home is not deemed safe enough – with Liverpool potentially sealing Premier League title
- There are concerns about playing the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park
- Health and safety issues were raised as Liverpool could win the title there
- St Mary’s is a possible venue, thought to be preferred to the likes of Wembley
The Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton might be played at St Mary’s Stadium if Goodison Park does not receive the required safety certificate, according to The Athletic.
Of the 92 games remaining in the Premier League season, Liverpool’s games against Everton and Manchester City are potentially at risk of being moved to neutral grounds due to safety concerns.
With Liverpool closing in on the title, Jurgen Klopp’s side may have to try and clinch the trophy 187 miles away in Southampton on June 21, rather than in the home of their arch rivals.
The Merseyside derby may have to be played at St Mary’s if Goodison Park is not deemed safe
St Mary’s, Wembley, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the King Power are also possible venues
It is possible Liverpool could win the title against Everton, raising health and safety concerns
Premier League clubs voted that games should only be played at neutral venues as a contingency, however there is a growing concern about the Merseyside derby.
Wembley, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the King Power Stadium have also been listed as possible venues if games need to be played elsewhere.
However, it is thought that it would be easier and safer for the two sides to fly to Southampton rather than make the journey to Leicester or London by train or road.
Liverpool need Manchester City to come up short against Arsenal in order to have a chance
A safety advisory group is set to meet on Wednesday morning to make the decision over the licence, including representatives from the police, ambulance, and fire services, as well as supporters’ groups.
The worry is that if Liverpool could win the title by beating Everton, there is potential for supporters to congregate outside Goodison Park in contravention of social distancing rules.
The local police have said that they are not concerned over crime related to the match, but large groups of fans coming together poses a risk during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has said he ‘would have no objection to the games being played at our clubs’ home grounds, both the derby at Goodison and Liverpool’s games at Anfield.’
The Liverpool mayor has given the game his backing, but a safety group will meet this week
His deputy, Wendy Simon, is also set to join the safety advisory meeting, raising hopes that the match will be able to go ahead at Goodison.
There is a chance the decision over the venue for the derby may be delayed until next week, after Manchester City take on Arsenal in the first Premier League game to be played since lockdown began.
If City win the match, then Liverpool will not be able to win the title at Everton, which may reduce the risk of holding it at Goodison Park.
The Premier League is likely to confirm plans over the use of neutral venues on Thursday in the next shareholders meeting, in the event they are needed.
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