Relief for Liverpool fans as EPL commit to finishing the season
The English top flight today reiterated its desire to resume the 2019-20 season as soon as the health fears surrounding Covid-19 have passed.
In a conference call earlier today, clubs and officials from the Premier League discussed how best to resolve the English league season as the coronavirus outbreak continues to disrupt fixtures lists around the globe. The emergency meeting included representatives from all 20 Premier League clubs and was conducted by Claudia Arney, the league’s interim chairman.
On Tuesday the European governing body UEFA announced their decision to postpone the 2020 European Championships until next year to give the continent’s domestic leagues time to conclude properly. However opinion had been split in England about how best to proceed with club officials suggesting different approaches.
Karen Brady, vice-chairman of West Ham United, argued last week that “the only fair and reasonable thing to do is declare the whole season null and void.”
However Brady’s solution was widely criticised and Brighton & Hove Albion Chief Executive Paul Barber called for a resumption of the current season when safe, saying: “Our priority and the Premier League’s priority is to play out the remainder of the season, that’s what we all want, that’s what the fans want and it’s what the clubs want.”
Liverpool supporters will have been relieved by today’s announcement with the Reds on the verge of a first Premier League title. They are currently 25 points clear of second-placed Manchester City but have not yet been mathematically confirmed as champions.
In their statement today the Premier League did stress that completing this season was the number one aim, but due to the continued spread of the virus have been forced to extent the current suspension of football until April 30 at the earliest.
The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA are committed to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season as soon as it is safe and possible to do so— Premier League (@premierleague) March 19, 2020
Full statement: https://t.co/kr0sJk8JHp pic.twitter.com/K1OBzBbKfc
If they are able to keep to that date, Liverpool’s next fixture would be a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal on May 2. However even that remains in doubt with the Premier League emphasising that a lot is still uncertain at this stage. Their official statement read:
“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority. We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.”
Talking to Sky Sports News yesterday, Liverpool legend Phil Thompson spoke of the need to fulfil the fixture list in its entirety for the sake of the competition.
"A lot of people would quite enjoy the season not be completed, but certainly not Liverpool fans, myself included," said seven-time title winner Thompson. "But there are more important things than it, notably the integrity of the English league and Premier League.
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