The only good thing about the ongoing pandemic is that we can take a step back from all the non-sports-related scandals shaking the world of sports. There is no doping when there are no competitions. There are no controversial decisions made by the officials. Even the means and methods of fixing matches are ineffective if there are no matches to fix…
Joke aside, the lasting lack of sports is a constant source of stress for all sports fans. And Liverpool’s fans are the hardest hit by the effects of the suspension of the Premier League – with 27 of their 29 matches won, The Reds were almost certain to take the trophy home. The amazing season was cut short by the measures taken to flatten the curve, though. And the way things stand right now, there is no way to tell whether the season will be resumed or not.
There are currently three possible ways the 2019-2020 season could end.
One of them is not to declare any champions for the season – but this would mean that the whole promotion/relegation system would be turned upside down. And it would also pose the question of who would go to the Champions League next year.
There are only two recorded cases in football history when leagues went championless, and both winners were stripped of their titles because of foul play. If the Premier League is to be left without a champion this season, the EURO qualification spots will be assigned based on the teams’ current standing, and no teams would be relegated.
Deciding promotion and relegation by playoffs would be an entertaining option for the fans and a viable one for the Premier League, too – but the clubs will probably hate the idea.
Calling it a year and award the title based on the current standings would be the best option for The Reds – and this one seems to be the solution preferred by UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin.
The Championship, according to Čeferin
Speaking to the Slovenian publication Ekipa24, Čeferin touched on the sensitive subject of national leagues suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. He expressed his optimism about the resuming of the leagues but made sure to point out that there is no way to guarantee that this will ever happen, considering the current situation.
When asked about Liverpool’s situation specifically, he said that he sees no way to keep the Reds away from the title. If the rest of the season is played out, he said, Liverpool will almost certainly win the title. If not, a result for the season will have to be announced, a champion will have to be determined. “And of course again I don’t see a scenario that would not be Liverpool,” he said.
Of course, he made it clear that these scenarios are hypothetical at this point. The UEFA is preparing for several scenarios but remains fully committed to completing the competitions.