Friday 17 May 2013
Villa Park has been selected as the venue for a third-place play-off between Chelsea and Arsenal, should Sunday's results leave the two clubs level on points, goal difference and goals scored in the Barclays Premier League standings.
In order for a play-off to occur to determine which sides finish third and fourth, Chelsea must be held to a draw by Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, and Arsenal need to win at Newcastle United by a single goal while scoring two more than Chelsea. For example, if Rafael Benitez’s side and Everton share a goalless draw, Arsenal must win 2-1. If Chelsea draw 1-1, the Gunners must win 3-2 and so on.
In this eventuality the Premier League has made arrangements for a single match to take place between Arsenal and Chelsea at Villa Park on Sunday 26 May 2013 at an early afternoon kick-off time to be confirmed.
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Tickets will be allocated equally between each club and will be priced at £30 and £20 with concessions for children and senior citizens priced at a 50% reduction.
The Premier League has consulted the two clubs throughout the process of planning for this potential match with all parties in agreement that, should it be required, it should take place as soon as possible after the end of the season.
Discussions with London-based stadia took place as part of that process but limited availability and calendar restrictions, combined with the desire to use a large-capacity ground with experience in organising and delivering neutral matches, rendered Villa Park the most suitable choice.
Further information, including ticketing details, will be disclosed by the Premier League and the two clubs on Monday 20 May should results require the match to take place.
The teams who finish in the top three places in the Barclays Premier League automatically qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stages. The fourth-placed team is required to play in a two-legged play-off for the right to play those group stages.
Premier League Rule C.14: If at the end of the Season either the League Champions or the Clubs to be relegated or the question of qualification for other competitions cannot be determined because 2 or more Clubs are equal on points, goal difference and goals scored, the Clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding League Matches on neutral grounds, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the Board.
The Premier League would like to thank Aston Villa for their co-operation in this matter.