COVID-19 has caused disruption all over the world and football is just one of the victims. The English Premier League is one of the many leagues that have been suspended indefinitely across the world.
FA officials announced last week that the season would be suspended until at least Friday 3 April 2020, though many experts are predicting there is no chance action will return that early, and that it’s unlikely we’ll see a ball kicked again for a good few months.
Indeed, Euro 2020 has just been announced as being postponed for next summer and you can visit seatpick.com where you can compare tickets from multiple ticket sites to book or sell your tickets. Even the Olympics, scheduled for the end of July, are currently up in doubt as the world works out how to cure the Coronavirus.
So, just what will happen to the 2019-20 Premier League season should it not be resumed before August? Here are three possible scenarios.
The season ends later than normal after suspension
Each team has 9-10 games left. The FA Cup is at the quarter-final stage. The Champions League is more than halfway through the Round of 16, and the Europa League is halfway through this stage.
Therefore, if football was able to resume by June, it wouldn’t be inconceivable that the current campaign was finished over a two-month period – completed around the end of July, and you can visit this site for Premier League tickets whenever the season resumes.
Liverpool would rightfully be able to celebrate their dominant Premier League success, Leicester City would be able to put up their fight for Champions League football, Atalanta could continue their Champions League campaign etc.
The off-season would need to be trimmed down to a month or six weeks to start the 2021-22 campaign and have that completed before the summer tournament. It may require a shorter campaign – scrapping the EFL Cup would surely be on the top of the chop list, potentially the FA Cup too. The Champions League and Europa Leagues may even be required to take a hit on the group stages.
The season is declared complete
This would certainly be the fairest option on the list for supporters of Liverpool, West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United, who are running away with their leagues.
But replicate this across Europe – Barcelona have a two-point lead over Real Madrid – are they deserving of being crowned champions? Juventus are only one point ahead of Lazio – should they be declared Serie A winners?
It would also be harshest on those currently in the relegation zones of their leagues. Bournemouth are currently in the bottom three of the Premier League by one single goal. Court cases would surely ensue…
The season is declared null and void
There appears to be more talk in the media that this will be the eventual result. Liverpool won’t be the 2019-20 Premier League champions and any talk of winning 24 of their first 25 games never happened. Frank Lampard has yet to take charge of his first Premier League game and Newcastle United fans are excited for Joelinton to make his debut…
How would the 2020-21 Champions League work? No Leicester City whilst Tottenham Hotspur get another shot? Leeds United currently have a seven-point lead over third place in the Championship, whilst West Bromwich Albion are only one point behind – will these two teams need to start from zero all over again in the new campaign?
Finishing the season, regardless of the delays, seems to be the fairest solution to all concerned, but if football is suspended beyond May and teams are deemed unable to play even behind closed doors, it will make things very difficult for clubs and the footballing authorities to have a reasonable outcome to an impossible situation.