Premier League’s COVID19 conundrum – What will be the Premier League conclusion after COVID19 Suspension?
We look at the possible scenarios that may pan out eventually as the Premier League executives meet later this week.
Premier League Conclusion #1 – League Resumes as Scheduled
In the most optimistic and ideal world, the COVID-19 crisis in Europe suddenly takes a sharp turn for the better and the Premier League actually resumes, under restricted circumstances on the weekend of 4th Apr.
This would be the best of all scenarios. Regardless of whether European club competitions resume, the Premier League should require an additional two weeks to complete the 2019/20 fixtures, ending by 30 May 2020 including the FA Cup Final.
At this point in time, no one is quite sure that this scenario is likely.
Premier League Conclusion #2 – League resumes after 4 months
Premier League Conclusion #2a – League resumes after 4 months; games played as normal
In this scenario, it is assumed that the Premier League is given the green light to resume sometime in July, in the summer when experts believe that the UK would ease off from the COVID-19 outbreak.
This comes with much optimism as well, on the assumption that the warm weather then do play a huge part in easing the outbreak AND that Premier League is given authorization to go ahead. Of course, the European Championships have already been pushed back to 2021.
Here, the season picks up likely from GW30 and may take about 2 months to complete, meaning that it would end in around September.
The advantage here is that we get a completed 2019/20 season and there would be little controversy around the final placings in the table.
Two things need to be considered though:
- The 2020/21 season will need to be an abridged one to for the football calendar to flow back into normality
- Player contracts and transfer windows need to be re-negotiated (needless to say)
Premier League Conclusion #2b – League resumes after 4-5 months; play-off used
In this scenario, a new format is adopted post resumption of the league to determine how the teams finish.
A mini-tournament is already touted by UEFA to complete the Champions League and Europa League – something similar may be adopted in the Premier League.
It is possible to award Liverpool the title and let teams currently in 2nd to 8th or 9th place to enter a knock-out play-off to determine the final position. Teams in the current bottom six would do the same and decide on the teams to be relegated.
Premier League Conclusion #2c – League resumes after 4-5 months; 2019/20 and 20/21 season combined
Another possibility is to stretch the remaining entirely into the 2020/21 schedule. In that case, there would be plenty of time and space to complete the remaining fixtures.
In this case, the Premier League would have one champion for the 2019-21 season and all other spots will be finalised with little disputes.
An additional plus point here is that with the 2022 FIFA World Cup scheduled for Nov/Dec, it actually makes sense for this season to end around Dec 2020 and the European football season reverts to a calendar year season before shifting back after the World Cup.
Premier League Conclusion #3 – Premier League declares cessation of the 2019/20 season
There are merits to ending the season now – it closes the 2019/20 here and now and allows every club to plan forward, come what may. The complexity is of course on how to decide how the teams finish. Under any scenarios, there would be teams bearing the brunt of the decisions made.
Premier League Conclusion #3a – Premier League declares cessation of the 2019/20 season; teams finish as is
This is straightforward and there is strong arguments for it even though there could be legal challenges around this for time to come.
The argument here is that already more than 75% of the games have been played and the rationale to have every team play against every other team twice is a uniquely European football concept – American sports for example, have teams play different teams a different number of times to make up their “regular” season. in NFL, the Super Bowl Champion would not have played every other team in the league.
Premier League Conclusion #3b – Premier League declares cessation of the 2019/20 season; declared null and void
Karren Brady is calling for this – no surprises at all given that her club West Ham are in a precarious position. Other “winners” in this proposal include teams like United (Liverpool rivals), Spurs (poor season) and Norwich (bottom of the current table).
Huge losers are of course Liverpool (25points clear) and teams like Leicester and Sheffield United, who are well punching above their weight to date.
Premier League Conclusion #3c – Premier League declares cessation of the 2019/20 season; hybrid method used
Several hybrid methods to end the season conclusively – one of that from the Telegraph suggests that Liverpool get awarded the title, but there would be instead be no relegation. Instead, the league starts with 22 (current 20 + Championship top 2 WBA and Leeds) next season and goes back to 20 the season after.
Again, like all scenarios stated above, there would be winners and losers and legal challenges.
Classic Fantasy Premier League Code: effv23
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