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Opinion

‘I’m baffled why anyone gets upset when you say it’s important to finish the 2019/20 Premier League season’

2 months ago
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It is now 24 days since Newcastle United last played a Premier League match.

Allan Saint-Maximin scoring the only goal against a 10 man Southampton team, to send NUFC eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Who knows how many days it will be before we see the next Premier League action…

This current campaign needs to be brought to a conclusion and I must admit, I’m baffled why anyone gets upset when you say it’s important to finish the 2019/20 Premier League season.

There appears to be a significant minority of people who are revelling in this crisis because they see it as a chance to lecture other people, to criticise anybody who steps out of line, as they see it.

You get comments such as ‘You shouldn’t be talking about that, it’s not important, the only thing that is important at the minute is the Coronavirus and trying to save people from dying due to it.’

I’m sorry but I disagree with that on so many levels.

This virus is not the only important thing, it is the most important issue that we all collectively face, BUT I have friends and family who in these recent weeks have had treatment for cancer, heart problems, ‘normal’ flu, as well as issues with dementia. Those things are all important too, indeed arguably more important for the individuals (and their families) involved than this virus situation.

As for not being allowed to talk about the issues surrounding football and especially finishing the Premier League, why aren’t we allowed to talk about it? Nobody thinks it is MORE important than the virus pandemic BUT talking about other things is permitted.

The same as talking about looking forward to pubs, restaurants, leisure centres, gyms, music venues reopening, there is nothing wrong with looking forward to things getting back to some kind of normality.

I understand people thinking it isn’t ideal to have anybody saying the 2019/20 Premier League season HAS to be completed by a certain date but that is very different to saying that the current PL campaign has to be finished off whenever we are able to have football games played.

No logical or decent person is pushing for football to start again before the government and medical experts deem it is the right time to do so.

The Premier League does need to be completed for so many reasons and some of them are indeed financial, to avoid potential legal challenges and massive compensation potentially due to sponsors and broadcasters.

However, in a sporting sense (fairness, an outcome on winners and losers, promoted and relegated, qualifiers for Europe etc etc) it is arguably even more important, get this 2019/20 season completed and then move on to the next one. Nothing is going to be ideal when football first comes back and yes it may be necessary to play games initially behind closed doors but surely we can all live with that on a temporary basis.

When football can be played once again, surely the only fair and reasonable thing to do AND to help protect as many jobs and clubs as possible, is to get these remaining matches played that are less than a quarter of a season’s worth.

If it knocks back the start of next season then so be it, that is no big deal.

There are all kinds of ways where compromises can be made to make time and space for next season:

If say the 2020/21 season ended up starting on 12 September 2020 and ending on 9 May 2021, that equals 35 weekends for games

Cancel the League CupĀ 

Cancel the FA Cup or play all ties midweek

Cancel all international friendlies

Play all international matches midweek just like they did in the past, rather than the daft international breaks we usually have now in September, October, November and March each season

Cancel the mid-season break

Instead of the tedious group stages, get all European competitions back to a knockout basis as they were in the past, at least for the 2020/21 season, or have no European competitions for a season…

As for the more extreme measure, you could always cut the 2020/21 Premier League season to only 19 games, playing everybody once instead of twice, playing nine or ten at home and the same away

Anyway, lets get this season done, when the virus situation allows it.

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