Our writers have their say on what should happen to the remainder of the EPL season following the decision to postpone fixtures due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Jason Dewey – The season should be played to its conclusion
It’d be an unprecedented sporting catastrophe if the biggest football spectacle on the planet failed to reach its crescendo. And for all of those fans out there desperate to see the league called off so that Liverpool do not win their first title since England’s top-flight was rebranded, you need to look at the repercussions. Failing to finish the season would see the Premier League likely forced to take on 22 teams for the 2020/21 season with Leeds and West Brom coming up from the Championship as the top two Teams. Then what? Relegate five teams at the end of next season? Squeeze in another four rounds of fixtures somewhere?
Let’s also remember the knock-on effect this will have down the footballing pyramid. Cup competitions – which do not come with the type of administrative baggage if cancelled – should be scrapped in order to free up space while the postponement of the EUROs would give the players more than enough time off at the end of the season. Voiding the season not only places the relegation-threatened teams facing uncertainty, what happens with the Champions League spots? Assuming City’s European ban is upheld, Manchester United occupy the final UCL spot. However, Sheffield United are two points back with a game in hand- what happens then?
The league should resume as soon as authorities deem it safe to do so. This would mean pushing back the European Championships back a year, an idea that UEFA appears to favour. This would ensure ample time for the resumption and competition of leagues around Europe. Of course, there’s no telling how long this could take, but it only seems fair for everyone involved.
Banele Pikwa – Wait it out and finish the season
For me, there’s no reason to panic and make a rushed decision. I know it’s a norm to start a new season in August but surely the next campaign can be an exception due to the coronavirus outbreak. My personal opinion is, wait and when it’s safe, finish this season before starting a new one. It’s less than 10 games to play anyway. So, it shouldn’t be much of a problem especially if they play three games a week. Postponing the start of the new season along with the transfer window makes perfect sense.
Benedict Ngwenya – Void the season
I think the season should be declared null and void because the Coronavirus pandemic will still be prevalent beyond the 3rd of April. Postponing it would definitely affect the start of the next season and saying the season should end as it is would be unfair to the teams at the bottom as they all have a realistic chance of surviving relegation as well as the teams who are targeting European spots. Just cancel the season and be ready to start from scratch when the time is right.
Aaron Crowie – Hunker down and wait it out before reaching a decision
With the Corona Virus now seen as a global threat, the English Premier League has taken a step to avoid further outbreak. The entire football fraternity was left in limbo after the EPL – as well as most soccer leagues – moved to suspend football until 4 April 2020 but what does this mean for the season? A radical option would be to declare the season null and void. There is also the option of giving Liverpool the title – which in all fairness they do deserve – as they remain 25 points clear of next best Manchester City with the Reds in need of just two wins to wrap up the league. The current standings could also be used to finalize the title, Champions League and relegation places or we could even see the season extended but that would only be a possibility if the Euro 2020 is postponed until next year.
No option would be an easy one as you will always get a few unhappy clubs to deal with. In my opinion, it’s still too early to make a decision but the FA should wait until the 4 April to judge the severity of the situation but the only thing that would have been guaranteed this season would be Liverpool lifting the title. I doubt any Reds fan would be ecstatic about winning it this way but every football supporter should agree that they deserve it.
Bryan Naicker – Null and void the season without champions and relegation.
Liverpool have been the most consistent team, setting the bar at new ridiculously high levels. No one can disagree that they’ve been the best in the Premier League this season. The table speaks for itself. However, they are just one of 20 clubs that are targeting their personal objectives. What about Leicester City, Wolves and Sheffield United? The effort that their staff and players have been contributing also deserves to be rewarded. Leicester City deserve Champions League football next season, Wolves deserve to be in the Europa League and Sheffield could be above United had they not played a game less. It seems unfair scrapping the league to fans who have waited 30 years to witness Liverpool winning the league again, but we face very extreme circumstances.
Donavan Vere says – Finish as it stands
Having already played 75% of the league, all standings should be frozen and taken as is. The bottom three should be relegated and the top two from the Championship should be promoted, and the play-off should continue for the third and final spot. The league should then finalize the Champions League spots based on the current league positions based on the equal number of games played. This would be the fairest outcome for all teams, and we may be able to pick up the pieces going forward, without any further disruptions.
Chad Nagel – Void and hand Liverpool the title
First things first, the coronavirus must be taken seriously. Life is more important than football and that’s coming from the most die-hard football fan. Therefore, I think the football season should be cancelled. However, I would still hand Liverpool the Premier League title. They’ve been the best Premier League team by far and are 25 points ahead of their closest challengers, Manchester City. With the Reds crowned champions, the top four should be as it stands – 1. Liverpool 2. Manchester City 3. Leicester City 4. Chelsea. Manchester United, who sit in fifth place, would still qualify for the UEFA Champions League after their city rivals were handed a two-season ban from the competition. Relegating teams would be difficult though. Perhaps they could promote Leeds United and West Brom and make it a 22-team league next season.