Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham get surprise meeting with police and TV problem
Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are entering crunch talks with UK police officials as Premier League clubs look to determine if matches this weekend will go ahead. All football across the country was cancelled between September 9th to the 11th as a mark of respect for Her Majesty The Queen, who died aged 96 on Thursday, September 8th. There had been hope that top-flight football would return quickly, though, but policing concerns have put that into doubt with forces needed across the country to combat an influx of people journeying to London this week for the Queen's funeral and to pay respect.
READ MORE: Arsenal prohibited Mathys Tel transfer decision as Bayern Munich benefit from Bundesliga edge There is first a full round of European matches to be played, with Arsenal and Chelsea both due at home games. The Gunners are scheduled to face PSV Eindhoven on Thursday night at the Emirates in the Europa League, whilst Chelsea are due to play RB Salzburg on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.
Both sides are getting contrasting signals over the likelihood of matches going on, though. Goal correspondent Charles Watts on Twitter gave an update stating: "Talks ongoing today about Thursday night's match. Police are yet to make a final decision.
Further discussions with UEFA in the next few hours. Arsenal & PSV were confident before the weekend it would go ahead, a bit less so now. Arsenal is hoping to be able to confirm either way today.
"Just to make clear, this isn't an Arsenal thing. It's not that the game is in doubt due to a mark of respect, etc. It's purely because the police are unsure they can give up the resource, given they are putting in place the biggest police operation in London's history this week."
The meeting, which will take place today (September 12), to decide if matches will be safely policed with the extra strain on the available numbers in the lead up to the funeral, reports the Daily Mail. Chelsea, however, are believed to be in the hope that UEFA are happy with the policing levels, according to Alistair Magowan. Rangers' Champions League fixture with Napoli has been delayed by one day with away fans now banned from attending.
Movements of venues for certain fixtures had been considered, but it wouldn't aid Arsenal's trip to Brentford as both sides are in London. Meanwhile, if Chelsea were to play their match against Liverpool on Sunday at Anfield, then both Merseyside teams would be at home on the same day. A spokesperson for the National Police Chiefs Council said:
"We will work with football clubs to try and ensure that, where possible, football fixtures can take place safely when balanced against the requirement to support national events and deliver day-to-day policing. "This is a unique situation, and we are working closely with everyone involved." Meanwhile, the Daily Mail are also reporting that TV coverage could be an issue with the numbers of trucks available for matches also depleted due to extensive Sky News coverage of the Queen's death, King Charles III's proclamation and the funeral.