The Premier League could be forced to borrow a championship trophy from Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City or Blackburn Rovers, if this season’s three-way title race goes down to the wire.
The league has already made plans for presentation ceremonies at the venues for City, Liverpool and Chelsea’s final games of the season on May 11, with a third set of medals having been ordered in case each of the clubs is still in contention.
However, it only has two Premier League trophies at its disposal, one under the care of current champions United and one at its central London headquarters, with both having been used on the occasions when two teams have gone into the final day in title contention.
Competition sponsors Barclays has a third trophy which it uses for promotional purposes, but it was not certain on Monday whether this would be available for what is on course to be a three-horse climax, unprecedented in the competition’s 21-year history.
The Premier League was, therefore, considering whether to ask one of its former champions to lend it a replica commissioned to mark a previous season’s triumph.
The trophy won by United last year is likely to be taken to the venue where the team top of the table on the morning of May 11 play their last game, with Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore on standby to present it.
The silverware at Premier League HQ should go to the venue of whoever lies in second place, with the remaining trophy going to the stadium where the side in third will play. General secretary Nic Coward and director of football Mike Foster are due to lead the presentation parties at those respective matches.
The final day of the season sees City host West Ham United and Liverpool welcome Newcastle United, with Chelsea travelling to Cardiff City.
The title will definitely be decided on May 11, unless City fail to win at least one of their next two games at Everton or against Aston Villa and Chelsea do not beat Norwich City on Sunday.
Liverpool will start the final day mathematically still in contention, although defeat at Crystal Palace next Monday could all but kill off their hopes due to City’s superior goal difference.