WAIT AND SEE: Liverpool’s Sadio Mane will have to wait and see if his team are crowned Premiership champions. AFP/VNA Photo.
by Paul Kennedy
Will they, won’t they, should they, shouldn’t they? All football fans are talking about the world over right now is what the hell is going to happen to the rest of the season.
I’m not going to kid you here, if my rival team was 25 points clear chasing their first Premier League trophy ever, their first domestic title in 30 years and a global pandemic was threatening to bring it crashing down around their ears, I would be in hysterics. Similar to the way my Manchester United/Chelsea/ Everton supporting friends are feeling right about now.
But let’s put rivalries and allegiances to one side and try and see the sensible approach.
Liverpool have been the best side this season by a country mile. They would have no doubt won the league if COVID-19 had come a calling a couple of weeks later than it did.
Mathematically, sure, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, but realistically no one would have caught up with Liverpool. They have lost once all season, there was no way they were going to lose all of the games remaining.
So what do we do?
In some quarters, so-called experts are suggesting the season so far should be declared null and void.
Two of them, Alan Shearer and Karren Brady, were sharing their thoughts in their columns in a newspaper that is detested in Liverpool, and many other parts of the UK, while the third, Richard Keys, is a former Sky TV presenter disgraced for his misogynistic behaviour and banished along with his little puppet to a television channel hardly anyone has heard of, so their views should be treated with a pinch of salt.
Sensible people are looking for solutions and, reading between the lines, I think one may have well been found.
On Tuesday, UEFA announced the postponement of the Euro 2020 tournament for a year, and this paves the way for the domestic season to restart once the world has been declared a safe place to live in again.
The FA have suggested April 3 as the date the season can begin again. This won’t happen as there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell England will have dealt with the problem by then.
The Football Association just has to wait, and they have to use the postponement of the Euros to their advantage and just restart the season as and when they can.
Scrapping it wouldn’t just cause serious angst for Liverpool supporters, but also for fans of those teams fighting relegation, and indeed those at the top and bottom of the Championship, and Division One, Division Two and so on.
There are also huge financial implications if the plug is pulled. Fans who have forked out small fortunes for season tickets would have grounds to complain, and indeed claim compensation.
Football teams on the brink of promotion to the top flight could potentially lose millions and millions of pounds in revenue that would have been guaranteed.
Television rights will have been paid already, along with subscriptions to pay-to-view channels. These are all facts that need to be seriously taken into consideration.
So while it’s all well good for Keys, Brady, Shearer, et al, to chip in with their nonsensical opinions and thoughts they are sharing simply for the sake of clicks and hits, big decisions on the future of football should be left for the grown-ups to make.
If the season restarts in June that’s fine. August, no problem, September even, go right ahead. We have to be patient, wait for the virus to pass, then just carry on where we left off
The show simply must go on, however long it takes. VNS