I could quote ESPN, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Athletic or any other media outlet out there reporting on the news, but it’s not that we didn’t know already and by the minute Queen Elizabeth II death was made official by the Buckingham Palace: Premier League games were going to be canceled—to some extent, at least—and security forces were going to get crammed into the confines on London.
That is only now reinforced with the announcement of the Queen’s funeral taking place on Sept. 19th (the Monday after tomorrow) in London. The problem now: what to do with the upcoming Premier League matchday?
There are PL games scheduled to take place on Friday (two of them), Saturday (three), and Sunday (four) but none on the Monday of the funeral. That’s great! The problem, of course, is that there will be a lot of security destined to guarantee peace reigns in all corners of London with football games definitely not the main priority. That has forced Premier League clubs—namely, those based in the capital—to try and find a solution that pleases everyone. Obviously, no communal answer has been found yet by the whole bunch of PL clubs.
The obvious fix would see Londonian teams scheduled to host games next weekend flipping places with their opponents and playing those matches away instead of home. Those teams are Chelsea (which would play at Liverpool), Tottenham (at Leicester), and Brentford (which, in the most interesting of cases, face Arsenal).
There are serious concerns this could end in a tough dispute over the next few hours and/or days leading up to the cancelation of games involving those London-based teams if no agreements are reached. All other clubs in the Premier League seem to be happy with the idea of going ahead with the remainder of scheduled games as expected, only leaving Londonian teams to work out a solution for themselves in this non-stop season of play.
Finding enough emergency and security workers to keep things going properly in London would pose a tremendous challenge. Moving games away from the capital would mean everything would need to be rearranged and organized in such a short period of time—with some of the teams involved in those games playing Europan football midweek to make things even more difficult—that it might take a titanic effort to pull off. Not to mention freeing and finding accommodation for the traveling fans, reissuing tickets, etc...
Newcastle will be hosting Bournemouth at St James’ Park next Saturday at 3:00 pm UK time, so the Magpies won’t have any problem going ahead with the game at home as expected. The Geordie faithful can rest easy during the next few days leading up to the game come Saturday, as the current stance is that clubs from the Premier League seemingly agree on the chance of having to miss/postpone the three games to be played in London rather than the full weekend of play.