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So off the back of various well known figures desperate to have the season declared null and void, conveniently to the benefit of their preferred clubs – honestly who could believe a vehement Tory, writing in that rag, would suggest and insist on a scenario to devastate Liverpool fans and to be to the benefit of her own professional and financial standing.
In truth I have no idea when Covid-19 might be clearing up enough to allow football matches to commence once more, but then again I don’t think 99.9% of Twitter has either. However were we to imagine a not the best case, but not worst case scenario of deciding that games could begin again (with or without fans) in early June (EURO 2020 is now EURO 2021 obviously, that summer is going spare and there’s no WC the following summer), then if all teams played weekend – midweek – weekend, you could have the season completed a week before EURO 2020 had been due to end.
And before any desperate null & voiders try to suggest that schedule would be too much for the players, well if City and United had reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup and reached their respective European finals they’d have been playing on that schedule, but for a longer 6 weeks (the midweeks being made up of 4 European ties and 2 rearranged league games) at the end of this season – without having been kicking their heels for two months.
It saddens me that there seems to be so many people wanting the season wrote off when a) it will throw the game into far, far more financial and legal chaos than finding a way to finish it, and b) the scenario they’re touting for football also means they’re banking on this pandemic being worse than, and the loss of life being more, than anything they can have certain knowledge of. Which is not a great look.
And to think many of them will have bandied around the term ‘unbearable’ about other supporters.
But Brady is right…
So Karren Brady wants the Premier League season null and void if it can’t be completed. Well, if an authority on the subject such as Ms Brady has called for the season to be scrapped then I guess we’d better listen. I’m sure it’s for reasons more than self preservation after the long list of cock ups at West Ham that include hiring, firing and then rehiring David “my arse has gone” Moyes. Truthfully, her and the dildo brothers should not be given a free pass to another top flight campaign.
Except… she’s probably right.
We can call it postponed but really the season is over. The coronavirus isn’t ending any time soon and the state it has left football means that any restart has huge moral and financial implications. We need to end this season and prepare for the next. So… relegate the bottom three as is – we need to move on. In the European spots at the time the bell tolled? Well done, you’re in Europe next season, if there’s anything left of it.
But, and this is crucial, you can’t award Liverpool the title. The season wasn’t completed, they did not cross the finishing line. In that respect I’d have to back Brady and call it null and void (but on that point only). Two wins away is still two wins. If I had friends who supported Liverpool I’m sure they would want to achieve league victory the proper way and not have that asterisk by their name. They’ve waited thirty years for a league title. Let’s not sully their achievements this season by giving them a half-baked version on a technicality.
Let them win it properly. If they’re as good as their fans continually tell us then they can have another go and win it next time.
William Douglas Foster, Stretford
Avoid the void
We must not void the season. That would be so unfair on all the teams across the football league who have done well this season. Postponing matches to complete this season, and a later start to the 20/21 season should be Plan A. Plan B should be to declare final places as they are now, with Champions as they are placed now and with the top two teams in the lower leagues being promoted for bigger leagues for a one off season. Could be legal problems here but it would importantly reward success and keep money moving. Not only is voiding the season depressing but it would be really harmful to a number of clubs financially.
Going forwards I think the football league will need to review the legislative rules on when a football season can be declared as complete in unexpected conditions like a pandemic. Personally I would say this could be done in extraordinary circumstances if all teams in each league have played each other at least once, less than that could arguably void a season if postponement isn’t an option.
Might as well chip in another idea for the solution to the Coronavirus impact on football
1. If things get under control by mid April then play out the season as per normal and finish by the end of June. This includes cup competitions and Europe, with the only concession potentially being moving to one legged ties. You’ve still got the same amount of time in that period to play it all out as you do between now and what was scheduled to be the end of the season so no huge adjustments needed. Whatever the situation the Euros needs to be delayed a year
2. Lets face it, it’s unlikely to be under control by then. In which case call an end to the domestic season. Award the league leaders the titles (as much as that pains me given Liverpool and Leeds are currently top), scrap the FA Cup and Europe and start again next season. Give out European positions based on current league positions with the FA Cups position being given to 7th (or 8th if City’s appeal is unsuccessful)
3. No relegation – it’s a cop out and an unlikely reprieve for some teams like Norwich, Stevenage and Bolton but with points still to play for you’d end up in a huge legal quagmire
4. Promote the teams in automatic positions but scrap the playoffs. Hard luck for some teams but ultimately avoids punishing the best performing teams in each league
5. So we’re back to a 22 team Premier League for a year. To avoid complaints of fixture congestion teams qualifying for Europe miss the League Cup for a year. In the current climate you’d still have City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton etc in there so there’s still big teams. Relegate 4 teams and promote 2 or relegate 5 and promote 3 to restore a 20 team league the following season
6. The Championship and League One remain 24 team leagues because of the promotion system and the fact League One is already down a team due to the tragic demise of Bury enabling three teams to still automatically come up from League Two. League Two is a bit trickier but the most likely solution is to follow suit, only promote one team and scrap the Conference playoffs so you have a 22 team league, returning to a 24 team league the following season after promotion/relegation
It’s not perfect but it seems to minimise the impact scraping the season and keeps things straight forward for when things are back to normal in terms of not having to overhaul the calendar
Mike, Burgess Hill
If I were UEFA/FIFA, this is what I would propose to resolve this coronavirus-disrupted football calendar.
1) Scrap Euro 2020. A cross continent tournament like that doesn’t seem particularly good idea right now. Either that or postpone to 2021. But I’m more in favour of just writing it off really simply because the amount of mass travel seems unwise given the circumstances.
2) For domestic league seasons, if they can be resumed by the second half of this year (the earliest I think this virus will subside), then let it finish from where we left off. Then for the 2021 season, run it during the calendar year (say, Feb till Nov). Do the same for 2022 and it will play nicely into the Qatar World Cup in the winter. Six month break before starting on the 2023/2024 season.
3) If football can only be resumed early in 2021 (plausible), then continue from where we left off then. That means the 2019/2020 season will end in 2021. From there then we go back to business as usual for 2021/2022.
Either way, we will lose an entire season (2022/2023 for the first scenario, 2020/2021 for the second), but I think it’s fairer to do it later down the line rather than to scrap the existing season with so many games already played.
As for player contracts and such, I would say to enforce a special rule that during this enforced period of disruption, teams are not allowed to make changes to their playing staff (no transfers in or out), until such time as play can be resumed. Contracts expiring at the end of this season to be automatically extended to whenever the 2019/2020 season ends up finishing.
I have seen a fair few opinions offered up on what to do with the current season should it be cancelled outright, so I figured I’d chime in with an idea of my own. Now, if this has already been suggested then disregard this nonsense, but it seems best to give Liverpool the damn trophy and award the European places to the teams who occupy them now. More importantly, promoting the top two teams from the championship while relegating none of the bottom three sides seems like the most prudent option for all involved. After running a 22 team top flight for a solitary season, relegate the 4 or 5 lowest positioned teams and revert back to a 20 team league for 21/22.
Jarrod, Newcastle (The Australian one)
Ok folks, here’s an easy and fair way to sort out the league with only another 1 or 2 games per club required.
Liverpool haven’t quite won, City can catch them mathematically so those two teams play a one off match at Anfield for the title. Liverpool, however, start the match 8-0 up to reflect league standing. 8-0 might be a bit harsh on Liverpool if I’m honest but I am a Utd fan so that’s all they get, if they want to argue then I’ll cut it back to 4.
Then Man Utd (5th) play Spurs (8th) with Utd 1-0 up at the start and playing at home. The Winner plays against Leicester for a chance of a top 4 place with Leicester 1-0 up and at home.
At the same time, Wolves (6th) play Sheff Utd (7th) with Wolves 1-0 up at home and the winner gets to play Chelsea at Stamford bridge with Chelsea 1-0 up, the winner taking the other champs league place.
If any ties are level at 90 mins, it’s next goal wins with each team forced to remove all their defenders. If it’s still level after 100 mins, the midfielders get removed too, and if level after 110 mins throw an extra ball on the pitch and let’s see what happens. If that still doesnt work then we all go home and give it to Leicester/Chelsea and wonder why we wasted all this time. VAR to be used only in extra time and only to overule a decision that stopped the tie from being settled.
Somehow, one lucky loser gets 5th place, maybe on goal difference, most shots or a fan vote designed by Simon Cowell and co but without all the adverts and pauses for dramatic effect and takes Citehs spot if they do get kicked out of Champs league after the courts have had their say.
Arsenal would feel a bit aggrieved about all this given they have a game in hand to get into that top 8, maybe they could play a pre-qualifying game with Spurs to see who gets to face Utd and also in the process settle St Totteringhams day.
I don’t have the energy to do the relegation fight but assume a similar theme but with boxing gloves brought in if no clear winner after 90 mins – maybe just forget the football altogether and have a cage fight between club mascots – throw bottom 6 mascots in one cage, last 3 standing get to stay in the league.
Jon (Cape Town, beat that for fairness sports fans!)
Paying the penalty
It seems that the obvious, fair, and simple solution to finishing the league are televised penalty shootouts behind closed doors. 5 spotkicks per team with all being taken so that goal difference can be calculated. Draws are possible. Football-based solution that requires no close player contact and can still be broadcast on tv.
Stu. Auckland, NZ
Let’s face it, the season is over but calling or voiding it will leave a bitter taste either way.
So why not settle it in a similar way we settle cup draws? Each team plays all its remaining league and cup fixtures but instead of a full match, it is a straight penalty shootout. In the league: 10 pens each, no sudden death, 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw. In the cup, standard format (5 pens, sudden death). We hold it with all teams on one day at one venue. It means the season is done, we get a proper break until summer to see this thing out/ahead of Euros (if it goes ahead), and no one can complain about not having the chance to change their final position.
Sky can even call it something like SUPER SUNDAY SHOOTOUT .
Patto (AND IT’S LIVE)
I don’t like cricket
I think the Premier League should take lessons from Messrs. Duckworth and Lewis to finalize the league table. This is just like a rain delay innit?
Amey (Huge fan of f365, keep up the work lads)
Its got to be a Football Manager simulation right??