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Arsenal, Chelsea FC and Tottenham in talks over preseason ‘Battle of London’ tournament

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are in talks over holding a pre-season mini-tournament this summer instead of their usual overseas tours.

Most of the income from the proposed friendlies would go to charity, helping the clubs to rebuild their reputations following their involvement in the European Super League fiasco.

The current plan is for three matches in total, with each side hosting once, and the games are expected to take place in early August, after the European Championship Final on July 11 but before the start of the new Premier League season on August 14.

London’s ‘Big Three’ usually compete in lucrative overseas tours, with the trio having all visited Asia, the US and Australia over the last few years, but foreign travel is likely to prove too complicated this summer, amid ongoing national and international Covid-19 restrictions.

The clubs are therefore confident of arranging a ‘Battle of London’, which would help raise much-need money for charities impacted by the pandemic, as well as testing the return of fans to grounds en masse.

The clubs are hoping to get as many fans into the games as possible, with the Premier league having said they are hopeful of full stadiums from the start of next season.

Like every club, the trio have faced significant losses due to the absence of fans this season but it is thought the majority of gate receipts and broadcast revenue would be donated to charity.

Chelsea plan to play a series of lower-league UK sides before the tournament, while Arsenal have earmarked friendlies in Scotland as well as at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs were among the six English clubs to announce they were joining the ESL last month and their image and standing within the game has since been significantly damaged. The owners of all three clubs are facing sustained pressure from fans and the prospect of protests when supporters return to grounds next week.

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