Since the suspension of the Premier League back in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak, there has been a lot of speculation about the best way to complete the season, or even whether it can or should be finished at all. Online casino sites, however, remain unaffected – view a list of the
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Fixtures in the top flight are on hold until April 30th, but this date is likely to be moved back further, and with Premier League clubs apparently split about what should happen next, whatever the decision, it is going to be controversial.
What is making the decision difficult?
Without knowing how long the suspension will be in place for, it is hard to know how long the clubs will have to try to finish the current season, before it impacts too much on next season.
Other than the timeframes for completion, there are a number of other issues which the Premier League will need to consider, such as:
● Champions elect, Liverpool, have a near unassailable lead of 25 points with just nine games to play.
● Champions League and Europa League places are still very much up for grabs
● UEFA have warned that ending competitions early could result in countries forfeiting
Champions League and Europa League places next season
● Potential legal action by clubs relegated from the Premier League who weren’t given the chance to get themselves out of the drop zone
The options being considered to finish the season?
One option for the Premier League to consider is to finish the season now and use the current standings. That would see Liverpool crowned as champions, winning their first title for 30 years
However, it would also mean relegation for Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City, something none of these clubs would accept. The Champions League places would be awarded to Manchester City, Leicester City and Chelsea, with 5th-placed Manchester United taking Man City’s place if their UEFA ban is upheld. But with Wolves and Sheffield United within a win of the Red Devils, these two clubs would surely also fight this.
Another option being discussed is to award Liverpool the title due to their huge lead at the top of the Premier League, then hold play-offs to determine who will fill the European places and who will be relegated.
This would put a club’s destiny back in their own hands, but exactly how the play-offs would work could take some working out, logistically.
Could the season really be declared null and void?
The hugely controversial option of voiding the entire season would see no club crowned champions, no relegation, and no promotion from the Championship. This is favoured by the likes of West Ham and Karen Brady – but it would open up all sorts of issues for the Premier League, EFL, FA, and UEFA – surely, this is a non-starter?
It is looking more and more likely that the Premier League season will be finished over the summer – but due to social distancing still being place for months to come, this could see games being played behind closed doors and shown live on TV.
That might be a bit of an anti-climax, especially for Liverpool, but it is probably the most sensible option currently available.