Stan Collymore sends a clear message to West Brom and Leeds United in the Premier League

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Stan Collymore believes that clubs should always be promoted and relegated as usual – even if the full 38-game Premier League season is not over.

West Bromwich Albion comfortably occupies second place in the championship, needing a final push to realize its ambition to return to the top flight when the campaign resumes.

Slaven Bilic’s team battles Leeds United for the title and remains one point behind Elland Road’s club with nine games left.

Brighton owner Tony Bloom said this weekend that promotion and relegation should be abandoned due to the unprecedented nature of the public health crisis.

But Collymore thinks it is fair that the system should work as usual as long as the Premier League clubs have all played the same number of games, with three league teams on the rise.

In his Mirror article, the former Aston Villa striker said, “Brighton owner Tony Bloom’s suggestion that no club should be relegated from the Premier League this season is noble.

“And regular readers will know that when Covid-19 first arrived on these coasts, I was thinking along the same lines.

“That we could promote Leeds and West Brom from the Championship, and get back to normal numbers by relegating five teams at the end of next season.

“But I changed my mind and, if we come to a point where a line has to be drawn throughout the season, I see no other option than that of the bottom three teams.



Stan Collymore

“I say this with a heavy heart because it would mean that my club, Aston Villa, would be relegated to Norwich and Bournemouth.

“Although the caveat is that we have to level the playing field making sure that all of the top clubs have played 29 games.

“It would mean that Sheffield United against Villa and Manchester City-Arsenal would be played behind closed doors. And if Villa wins, so much the better, they stay standing. But if they lose, they’re down – no luck and it happens. “

“I know people will argue that clubs have signed up for a 38 game competition and that they shouldn’t be relegated if the season is not filled, but we are never going to get a perfect solution.

“I would say that teams shouldn’t be in this position after 29 games, so they have nothing to blame. “

The EFL is expected to consider a June 8 return date, but there is significant uncertainty as to what could happen by then.

Collymore added, “The best of course, is that this campaign is over and, fingers crossed, we can still do it in June and July, even though the June 8 date that the Premier League is considering is also good time.

“But the problem is, if the government extends the lockout for another three-week cycle after this, it will take us until May 28 and players will need at least two weeks to get in shape. “

“If things go wrong and we need a few more locks, we can’t go on forever.

“That’s when you have to call the season where it is, as they did in Scotland, rather than canceling it, which would mean handing over the title to Liverpool, Europe and the relegation also being sorted.

“To cushion the shock of the downturn, the Premier League could give the relegated trio a share of next season’s money – say, 75 percent of what it would have earned had it remained a top-flight club . It’s hard to see a better way out. ”

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