West Ham chiefs back Project Restart but express concern over neutral venues

West Ham United will insist they want to finish the season – but are against the neutral venues plan.

The Hammers were one of six clubs to express doubts in Friday’s Premier League meeting about the Project Restart proposals to play out the remaining 92 fixtures.

It is understood they are in favour of finishing the season but believe using neutral venues compromises the integrity of the competition.

West Ham have five games at the London Stadium left this season against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Watford, Burnley and Chelsea.

They will be crucial to their hopes of survival and, like others, the Irons are voicing concerns about them being switched to neutral venues.

It comes after Brighton chief executive Paul Barber issued a public statement saying neutral venues should be off the table.

Barber said: “Clearly, we must all be prepared to accept some compromises, and we fully appreciate why playing behind closed doors is very likely to be a necessary compromise to play our remaining games while continuing to fully support the government's efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

"But at this critical point in the season playing matches in neutral venues has, in our view, potential to have a material effect on the integrity of the competition."

West Ham currently find themselves 16th in the Premier League on 27 points, but they are only ahead of 17th-place Watford and 18th-place Bournemouth on goal difference.

19th-place Aston Villa could leapfrog the three teams ahead of them due to having a game in hand thanks to their participation in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

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