Alan Shearer verdict on how best Premier League should deal with Coronavirus challenge
Alan Shearer has given his opinions on the immediate challenges that the Coronavirus present to football and the Premier League in general.
Like everybody else, he says that obviously health/medical concerns come first.
However, just what should be done in terms of how the Premier League handle football’s response to the issues that confront them?
China was of course where the Coronavirus problem first presented itself. From a football perspective it was an easy decision for them, as with the timing of their football season, they were in the process of preparing for the new one to kick-off.
The Chinese Super League was supposed to start last month (February 2020) but as the virus spread, the football authorities quickly postponed the new season until a date to be decided in the future.
For the Premier League and lower leagues in many cases it is a scenario of so near and yet so far in finalising the important football outcomes.
Liverpool would no doubt have already won the league if two or three rounds of PL games had been played.
A few more matches than that and promotion and relegation would have been finalised in many cases.
However, Alan Shearer says that no matter how imminent Liverpool winning the Premier League is, or how likely Leeds and West Brom were to get the automatic promotion spots, you can’t simply hand out prizes based on probability.
At the same time, Alan Shearer believes that not completing this season has to be ‘the very last option’ for the football authorities.
Although I do wonder that with only three rounds of games and seven games to play (quarters, semis and final), you could always have the completion of the 2020 FA Cup able to take place just ahead of whenever the 2020/21 season eventually kicks off, substituting these matches for pre-season friendlies.
Alan Shearer writing in The Sun:
‘Not completing the season has to be the very last option on the table.
Every angle and scenario has to be looked at in order to reach a conclusion, even if that means a long delay before playing into next season.
If, and it is a huge if, the season cannot be completed then there is no way you can have a winner or loser.
As harsh and as horrible as that would be for some clubs, none more so than Liverpool, it is the only outcome.
If you cannot complete the fixtures then you cannot go handing out titles or consider relegating anybody.
People have spoken of bringing Leeds and West Brom up from the Championship — but there would be uproar from other clubs.
Sitting seven and six points above third with nine games to go, there is no guarantee they would finish in the top two.
For Liverpool, it would be incredibly harsh.
But I cannot see how it would be fair to hand them the title — despite the fact it is obvious nobody is going to catch them.
They only need six points to wrap it up but they haven’t got them yet so for that reason it has to be declared null and void.
At times like this, though, there is little point in guessing games while people are dying and things are expected to get worse.
Everyone wants to talk about football and we will all continue to do that during this period. But whatever people say, they are just speculating.
They (Liverpool) were clearly going to win the title but how can you have a winner and loser with fixtures still to be played?’
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