The former Manchester United defender says it “wouldn’t feel right” if Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth were sent down to the Championship
Gary Neville says it wouldn’t be fair for Premier League relegation to be decided on a points-per-game basis if the season can’t be completed.
While the league’s ‘Project Restart’ plans continue, there remains uncertainty as to whether the sport can return in England, with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan saying the city isn’t ready to host Premier League football yet.
When France’s Ligue 1 season was curtailed, the final league table was worked out using points per game, with Amiens and Toulouse relegated.
If the same system was used in the Premier League, it would see current bottom three Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth demoted to the Championship – even though Villa have a game in hand over the teams around them and are only two points off safety.
“I don’t believe relegation is fair on the points-per-game basis,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“I think that if football was going to be played, it’s right for football to be played for promotion and relegation.
“But I think on the points-per-game basis, to be relegated with nine games to go, with so much to play for, so tight at the bottom and with so much at stake, it doesn’t feel right to me, personally.
“I think it feels unfair. What we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks has been quite unsavoury. Clubs have been demonstrating their self-interest to try and jostle for positions.
“But the big six and the powerhouses at the top will always be able to have that thumb pressed down on the others somehow, because they do carry the weight.”
With most teams having nine games still to play – Villa being the only exception in the bottom half with 10 – just five points separate five teams between 15th and 19th in the table.
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Indeed, bottom club Norwich are only six points shy of safety and may have believed they could fight their way out of the bottom three.
“I do think it’s unfair for points per game for relegation. It’s important I voice that,” Neville added.
“It’s devastating going down at any time, but without even having the opportunity to defend yourself and play football matches would be too much.”