The only scenario in which the PL season should be voided…

Date published: Friday 3rd April 2020 8:59

Thanks for your mails so far. Keep them coming to…

Only scenario in which to void season
It has been very frustrating to read the views of people who have clearly not thought the situation through properly, basing their suggestions and conclusions on false assumptions and a lack of perspective. This includes anonymous football chairmen, as well as a few mailbox submissions over the last couple of weeks. Thankfully, these people have typically received the appropriate response, and there seems to be a consensus among all stakeholders in favor of doing whatever it takes to finish the 2019/20 season.

There are a number of ways how finishing the 2019/20 season could hypothetically be achieved. We will only know which are feasible, and which ones are not, once we pass the peak of the crisis.

Voiding the season is clearly the worst of all options available. On top of the inevitable legal challenges from clubs (promotions voided) and fans (season tickets voided) and players (performance bonuses voided), on top of the need to reimburse broadcasters for unplayed matches (after having already spent the money received), there is the fact that voiding the season rewards the losers and punishes the winners. The clubs who performed the worst are the ones who will benefit the most from voiding the season, and the clubs who performed the best are the ones who will be stripped of what is deserved. (On a similar vein, I presume everyone who is anti-VAR is also anti-void-the-season – if it annoys you to have a goal ruled out 2 minutes after you celebrated it, imagine having a season ruled out after celebrating 7 months of results).

…but voiding the season is still an option. And there is one scenario which would make it the most logical option: a number of clubs are almost certainly going to go out of business as a result of this crisis. If it continues for long enough, this may happen before play is resumed. If a large enough number of clubs go bust and are unable to continue playing the season, I would find it difficult to explain how to continue playing and finishing the 2019/20 season. I’m sure something could be figured out, but it would be farcical. Anything other than that apocalyptic scenario should see us concluding 2019/20 in some form or another.

Also: this might be obvious to some people, but it seems to be often forgotten/conflated among the huge scope of the discussion:

The moment we are all waiting for is not (necessarily) for the virus to be eradicated or for a vaccine to be developed and rolled-out. Rather, the moment we are waiting all waiting for is for the healthcare system (in each country) to be adequately able to deal with the situation, and with a potential second outbreak. Increases in hospital beds, respirators, training for medical staff to operate these, widespread testing infrastructure, etc.

Keeping this in mind is helpful when trying to imagine what is feasible/infeasible for wrapping up 2019/20 and how to design 2020/21. (Indeed, if a second outbreak would lead to the same exact scenario of quarantine and shutting everything down for months, there would be no point to even talk about 2020/21, given how likely a second outbreak seems to be).
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


Premier greed
You poor Liverpool, Leeds etc fans who would be denied your title/promotion etc if the decision was taken to end the season now and declared void.

Give a thought – you selfish b……s – to clubs further down the ‘football family’ (sic) who have player contracts that run out very soon, and who would have to extend them to carry on playing if the season was to be extended across the leagues. That additional cost, at no additional income, will push many long-established clubs over the brink into oblivion.

But that’s alright – just so Liverpool will probably complete their title win, even though nearby Vauxhall Motors – who are already mathematically there – will, if the principle is established, probably go bump.

Or in your wisdom the rule to complete the season is good enough for you, but not for the rest of us – so at which league level do you decide those clubs/supporters don’t matter enough for the same to apply?

B……s to the big clubs – never truer than now.
Alan, Chester FC


…The players have agreed a 70% pay cut and for their directors and players will all contribute to make sure their staff dont lose out.

That’s the moral standard all Premier League clubs should follow. Spurs especially should be ashamed of themselves.
Zahid fayyaz


…How warped is Gordon Taylor’s moral compass? How dare he suggest that players earning tens of thousands of pounds a week shouldn’t have to give up SOME of their salary?

It shouldn’t even take a moment for the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and the rest of the first team to publicly announce a wage cut to support the staff. Sadly Daniel Levy’s not making them either. How about humble José?

Windfall tax better be hefty and swift, less other clubs think they can follow this shameful and disgraceful tactic.
Ben, Up T’North


…I am in my early 40s and been obsessed with football for as long as I can remember.
I lived and breathed it all my life my whole life has been framed by the game.
However this current coronavirus situation that has halted the game I love so much has caused me to rethink my feelings on the game.
I have enjoyed the reset it has allowed, I’m no longer checking the results everyday of every match, no longer constantly checking my phone for updates.
I have taken some brief opportunities to view the classic matches broadcast on BBC iplayer and it has reminded me of the glory of the game I fell in love with, you can sense the rawness of the old games and it generates a huge pang of regret about the huge commercial behemoth modern day football has become.
I have been reading about the Premier league clubs players apparent refusal to furlough their wages unlike the other club employees and this stance appears to be encouraged by that odious little toad Gordon Taylor.
I’m sure I’m not as lone in thinking, that
Rich, Cumbria


Gunners grief
Oh Graham, all of us here around the world are here for you, buddy.

You’re just gonna have to go through the stages just like all of us who have had our heart broken and stomped on by our first love.

But wait, there’s good news! You sound like you’ve already went through some.

I’d assume at first there came the denial, “no, footy won’t stop just because of covid-19…we’ve been through too much together, she won’t leave…but what if?”

Then, as you found more information, came the rage, “how dare this covid-teenager come between me and my bae? Stop footy? I’ll stop you!”

Then there must’ve been bargaining, “oh footy gods, I’d give my left nut for her to come back!” You’d probably written into the mailbox at this stage, trying to reach out to others and tell your side of the story, how you could fix it, how it all could be just like it once was.

But now, you know that it can never be the same…these feelings of helplessness, loneliness and trying to stomp out everything you love, that’s just a stage, buddy, you’re just in depression.

And look, I know it sucks. I think all of us here know what “blue balls” or (insert whatever the appropriate female equivalent is, I don’t wish to be crude-r). But the wonderful news is that you’re almost at the end, you’re almost at acceptance! Just keep trucking and we all know you’ll get there.

Maybe it won’t ever be the same, and holy spaghetti monster I hope it never descends into the capitalistic nightmare that is has been again, but that’s the beauty; change is inevitable.

So, Graham, Mr. Gooner, think back to how life evolves: from calling Xhaka a cuk to being ok with him starting (hahah), from saying screw you to your first love to finding out she’s matured, worked on herself and is gonna have one GREAT caboose when you catch yourself peeking at the Score or whatever app you use to see Auba leaving for another club, and all the sudden, all those feels come rushing back.

All I’m saying is, stick in there buddy.
N.V.M. (Trained slacker)


Discussing transfer fees is wrong
The anonymous “senior figure” interviewed by David Ornstein in The Athletic the other day was preposterous when claiming that the season should be voided because it was “morally wrong for football to be discussed”, most obviously because in doing so, the senior football was discussing football.

It is clearly absolutely normal to discuss, plan for and speculate about the future. This is presumably happening in all industries affected by the situation. It would be frankly irresponsible for stakeholders to not be discussing how to proceed.

But there is one aspect of football which I have found incredibly distasteful and bordering on morally wrong: newspapers speculating about transfer fees.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy reading transfer gossip. Transfers will still be discussed and planned-for by clubs and agents, and leaked to the press. No problem.

…but it is incredibly naive, delusional and/or self-involved to speculate that about 50-150 million pound transfer fees. All clubs around the world are going to be affected by this crisis, and if you don’t think that transfer fees will take a hit, you’re in for a rude awakening.

Basically, I just wish the transfer gossip columns we were reading would acknowledge that the financial impact of the situation makes predicting transfer fees impossible to predict, and perhaps at most say “in the pre-COVID-19 market, United would have been prepared to pay the 135m release clause for Saul Niguez”, or similar, rather than pretending like everything is just going to snap back to the way things used to be.
Oliver Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland


Earliest football memories
While I pretended to watch the hell that is High School Musical yesterday with my three kids aged between 5 and 9, I found myself comforted by my many memories of football. I went off into a sort of self-induced coma, where I remembered and tried to list my top 5 moments in football, my top 5 of goals that I celebrated most passionately etc.

This is not a tribal e-mail in the sense that I am representing the club that I support (Manchester United for the record). Obviously my happiest and most celebrated moments are going to be Manchester United related. However, this is a broader more inclusive mail.

I am curious to hear from supporters of all clubs and/or national teams, to share their very first memory/experience of football. Either on TV or in “real life”.

Maybe this has been done on F365 before. Id be lying if I said I didn’t go a few days without checking in sometimes, when life gets in the way. So maybe this is not a very original idea, apologies if that is the case, and if so, don’t even bother to include my mail.

If it hasn’t been done though, id be curious to know what peoples very first football memory or experience is. My first football memory is England Vs Argentina in Mexico 86 (on TV)

The hand of God, and the genius of Maradonna and THAT second goal. Sometimes I wonder if that really was the first time that I sat down to watch a match. Sometimes I think I must have seen other games before that one. But that is the one that has stuck as my first football “memory”, because it was so, well…memorable! I cant have been that lucky though surely, that that iconic world cup semi-final was my very first game to see.

I am Irish though, and in the summer of 1986 I had just turned 10 years old. Nobody else in my family cared about football. I watched it on a TV that had two channels (Hence why my nationality is relevant. as in 1986 in Ireland, many homes had just two Irish TV channels, so there wasn’t a lot of exposure to football in Ireland back then)

Anyway, as great a game as it was, and as great a memory as it is (sorry England fans), I ultimately find it slightly boring in the grand spectrum of first football memories/experiences, that this is my first football memory. I suppose its because everybody knows about it. Its a bit like being asked what your first car was and saying “a Rolls Royce”. Somehow its far more interesting to say “it was a 1974 Ford Simca….and let me tell you about it….” There’s more romance in the more obscure perhaps.

Yet, whether it was Brentford Vs Macclesfield or France vs Brazil in 98, everybody’s football memory has value. To me it does. I think it says something about you. Like your first memory of music, or film. There’s something character defining about it.

As an aside, genuine thanks to football365 for continuing during these dark times, where High School Musical and its kind are almost daily occurrences) I know the clue is in your name, but still, its much appreciated that you are keeping football alive.

Best wishes to you all,
(Until we start hating each other again like when the shell goes off in no mans land in Paul McCartneys Pipes of Peace” Video. Looking forward to it)
Edwin Ambrose.


Balanced XI
I have recently seen lots of alternative / dream 11 formations etc. and typically the same few names come up again and again. In the PL era there have been thousands of good players who could complement other good players. So i thought maybe there is scope for a more balanced teams with only one obvious star.

This is not the greatest team ever but i think could complement each other well and give most teams a run for their money:

GK Tim Howard -tall and vocal, good shot stopping

LCB David Unsworth – solid, good set pieces, quite fast

CB Des Walker – Cultured, great tackler used Slightly more withdrawn role

RCB Gareth Southgate, solid dependable, good at passing, quite fast

RW Marc Overmars – decent end product and pace

CAM Nick Barmby – adds the creativity and passing

DM Paul Ince – defensively sound, good passing

CM Yaya Toure – the star of the show with box to box abilities

LW – Damien Duff – balanced and good pace

FW John Hartson – could score a bit and had good link up play

FW Dean Holdsworth – hard one this, but I wanted a pace poachers, he seemed to fit the bill best

Balance on both wings, complementary midfield and a formidable defence – also with a deceptively prolific pairing up top.

Does anyone have any other, better, balanced Premier league 11s out there? Obviously trying to stray away from the actual best ever players in the premier league!


Light relief
To Alan, Cordoba: Your “Mistaken Identity” story had me laughing out loud in isolation. As the middle child of three girls, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been called the wrong name, assumed to be a different sister, and had my existence completely forgotten by our well meaning parents.

Conor may be the brother talented in the ways of football, but your gift for storytelling brightened a dark football-less day, which is something even the roughest of badgers can use right now.
Holly, SAFE


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