If you were a Liverpool fan looking for a first Premier League title since the 1989/90 season, a premature end to the season would tarnish what was a great achievement and consistent campaign. That’s assuming that they are crowned champions in the current circumstances, which they thoroughly deserve.
Even if they are confirmed as the Premier League winners, there’s a sense that they will feel unsatisfied that they hadn’t managed to complete the season. It could be an unhappy end to what has been a marvellous period for Klopp and the Merseysiders.
These are unprecedented times but one can only imagine that alongside the pride of winning the elite league, there would be a sizeable disappointment in being handed the title before the end of the calendar season.
The impact for Arsenal is unknown at present, but a growing number of fans from various clubs are calling for the Premier League to be deemed null and void with the current positions in the table to be considered as the final ones and if that were the case, Arsenal would face another season without Champions League football or entry to the Europa League. All of which have a lasting financial impact on the club’s future dealings and financial forecasts but perhaps, that’s nothing compared to the implications for other clubs.
Assuming this was the FA’s decision, Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea and possibly Manchester United would fly their flag in the Champions League, with United replacing the banned Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been found guilty of “serious breaches” of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations and fined €30m (£24.9m) and banned for two years from the Champions League, something that the club will continue to contest. So in essence, that’s a reasonable decision in difficult circumstances.
However, those calling for the season to be made null and void also suggest that no club be relegated. This seems spectacularly generous to those in the Premier League but grossly unfair to those in the Championship such as Leeds and West Brom, who have opened up a lead and are battling for top-flight football?
I can’t see them jumping through hoops or ordering champagne at the prospect of staying put in a less glamorous league for another year to try again.
Of course, there are massive financial implications for Championship clubs but also it would mean that the relegation positions in the Championship would have to be voided, which would cascade down the various leagues having major implications to smaller clubs that struggle to find sponsorship or advertising opportunities.
Let’s look at other competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League, and FA Cup. Theoretically, they could be completed once the players are given the all-clear verdict and played out behind closed doors, but what pleasure would anyone derive from that and what sense of accomplishment would any club get from holding a CL, Europa or FA Cup trophy aloft in an empty stadium. Just saying!
The FA Cup could easily be resumed and concluded in the same way and more importantly, it provides entry to the Europa League but again, how will clubs and fans feel about winning it under these circumstances. The FA has an almost impossible job and the complexity of their decision may have long-lasting effects on a host of clubs.