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THE PREMIER LEAGUE’S FINAL DAY: HOW WILL THE TROPHY PRESENTATION WORK?

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The end of a thrilling title race that’s gone the distance reaches its conclusion on the final day of the season this Sunday.

As Arsenal and Manchester City fight it out to lift the trophy, this will be the 10th time the Premier League title has been decided on the last day (Aguerooooooo, anyone?).

After beating Tottenham Hotspur away on Tuesday night, a victory for Manchester City at home to West Ham United in David Moyes’ final match in charge will be enough to secure their fourth consecutive title, a feat that has never been achieved.

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Arsenal, in second after their north London rivals failed to do them a favour, can still win the league if they beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium and City draw or lose.

To date, the team in control on the final day has always gone on to win the title during the Premier League era. City’s title chances increased 25 per cent, up to 84 per cent, after their win at Tottenham while Arsenal’s chances dropped to 16 per cent, according to Opta.

So with Sunday looming, how are plans for the final day shaping up, which games are shown where, and how exactly does the trophy presentation work?

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When the Premier League title can be decided at more than one ground on the final day, there are two identical sets of plans at each stadium.

Two Premier League trophies are used and one is placed at each ground, rather than a single trophy being flown by helicopter to the relevant stadium. Both trophies have been lifted by the champions in previous seasons.

During the season, one stays with the reigning Premier League champions while the other is used by the league. Manchester City had to return their trophy to the Premier League at least three weeks before their final league match this season.

The trophy is engraved after it is lifted by the new league winners and there will be the same podiums and fireworks in place at the Etihad Stadium and the Emirates ready for whoever finishes first.

At each ground, there will be a set of 40 medals. They are given out to the manager, players who have made at least five Premier League appearances during the campaign, and staff.

The Premier League trophy is designed around the theme of ‘The Three Lions of English Football’. Two of the lions are above the handles on either side and the idea is that when the captain of the title-winning team lifts the trophy, they become the third lion. The trophy is 3ft 5in tall (104cm), 2ft (61cm) wide and weighs 4st (25kg) in total.

Arsenal’s Invincibles — the team from the 2003-04 season that went a whole season unbeaten — have been invited to attend the match at the Emirates. There’s a commemorative 20th-anniversary lunch on the Saturday and the squad have been invited to the game the following day. Current sporting director, Edu, was part of that squad managed by Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal will hold a three-hour bus parade around the streets of Islington on May 20 if they are crowned champions. City will wait until after the FA Cup final on May 25 for any parade and could put on an extra celebration to mark the historic achievement of winning four consecutive titles.

Alison Brittain, chair of the Premier League, will attend the City game, while chief executive Richard Masters will be at the Emirates. This means Masters will avoid the potentially awkward situation of again presenting City with the trophy when they have been charged with 115 alleged breaches of the league’s financial rules.

When asked about that last month, Masters replied: “We can’t comment on the case. The date has been set and the case will resolve itself in the near future.”

Pressed on whether a second City title while the 115 charges remained outstanding damaged the integrity of the domestic game, Masters added: “It’s not for the football authorities to start being selective about who they would like to win the league. The key point is that you’ve got that jeopardy until the final day.”

A hearing date is in place for October or November this year, with a decision expected by the summer of 2025 — still more than a year away.

City strongly deny the charges.

Source: The Athletic

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