How should this season’s football be completed? The four options
On Thursday the FA announced that, in England, all men’s football below National League level, and all women’s football below Championship level, will be voided for the season. This, of course, is because of the recent outbreak and national domination of the COVID-19 illness.
It’s a decision that’s sent clubs and fans alike into a pit of rage. Not only will relegation and promotion from the necessary divisions be scrapped, financially and confidence wise, it’s a move that will damage clubs.
Today, we’ve tried to pick apart the possible ways the remaining leagues in England could be completed.
One possible solution to finishing the remaining leagues is to void them all and start fresh next year.
Thinking logically, it’s probably the fairest way to do it. Any other end to the season won’t be natural or, necessarily, fair.
As aforementioned, all men’s leagues in England below National League level have already been cancelled.
Despite earning promotion with 7 games left to spare, this season has been classified as null & void! 😔 https://t.co/IZcZPRscWe
— Vauxhall Motors FC (@Vauxhallmotorfc) March 26, 2020
Teams have worked hard to get where they are, and the consequences of cancelling the seasons lower down is being felt. Legal action is already being threatened.
As a side note, Bradford PA are bottom of the National League South – 13 points from safety. They’ll be happy the leagues below have been voided, as they can’t now be relegated.
Say we don’t play again, though, and the seasons end a different way – how can Liverpool be announced champions when they aren’t technically champions yet? It will never be right.
End them as they are
If it’s simply impossible to finish the seasons by playing games, a possible option would be to end the campaign and leave the league tables as they are now.
Teams have worked hard to get where they are, right?
There are two huge problems with this idea, though. One is that some teams have played more games than others, and the other problem is who the teams have played; for example, one team may have played the easier teams already, whereas another may have played the harder ones.
This idea almost certainly won’t be the solution.
Points per game
Right now, it seems PPG is most likely to be the method the authorities use to finish the seasons.
They’d love to finish them normally, but, with coronavirus spreading more and more every day, it’s really hard to see an outcome before August.
This method would eliminate the problem of games played, which is a plus. It’s doesn’t dismiss the fact that some teams have had easier games, however.
The solution everyone wants is a normal end to the seasons, even if games have to be played behind closed doors.
With the Euros and the Olympics already cancelled, there’s plenty of time in the summer to end the seasons if we can.
We should also be more concerned about finishing the current season – which is so close to being done – than starting the next. In other words, if we have to delay the start of next year, we should.
Why 👏 do 👏 people 👏 care 👏 more 👏 about 👏 starting 👏 a 👏 season 👏 which 👏 hasn't 👏 begun 👏 yet 👏 more 👏 than 👏 finishing 👏 one 👏 which 👏 is 👏 three 👏 quarters 👏 of 👏 the 👏 way 👏 through?
— Kristian Walsh (@Kristian_Walsh) March 26, 2020
The two main problems here, however, are time and contracts. If the pandemic isn’t over by August, it will be tough to finish these campaigns and fit next year’s in.
In regards to contracts, especially at lower league clubs, a lot of player deals will be up in the summer. SkySports recently revealed a document that contracts may have to be extended beyond the end of the season, however, which is the start of a solution to that problem. Finances, of course, will have to be considered if that is the way forward.
Players out of contract this summer could have their current deals extended if the football season continues past certain dates
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) March 26, 2020
None of the above are perfect, but something has to happen. Few could have guessed that the situation we find ourselves in would come around when football kicked off back in the summer of last year, but it’s something we have to deal with – and deal with it we will, one way or another.
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