UEFA

Carragher on UEFA: “No club should benefit from failure”

In a statement released following a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee yesterday, European football’s governing body set out its position on the future of domestic and continental football.

Carragher on UEFA: “No club should benefit from failure”
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

In a statement released following a meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee yesterday, European football’s governing body set out its position on the future of domestic and continental football.

Reward success, says Carragher

UEFA’s statement emphasised the need for all national associations and leagues to “explore all possible options” in order to allow the remaining fixtures of the 2019/20 season to be completed.

That includes using a different format to ensure that the season can be brought to a conclusion as fairly as possible with qualification for European competition still far from decided. UEFA give no details about potential alternative formats but did say that they expect to see European qualification decided on “sporting merit”.

Anfield Stadium, the home Liverpool Football Club during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic lockdown.

England’s runaway leaders Liverpool will see this as positive news as any consideration of sporting merit will likely see them crowned Premier League champions. The news was welcomed by former Reds player Jamie Carragher, who wrote in the Telegraph that clubs’ performances this season should not be erased:

“No club should benefit from failure, and no club should be punished because they are on the brink of success.”

Carragher also took aim at those who have prematurely called for the current season to be voided. West Ham United vice-chairman Karren Brady and Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer have both previously claimed that there are too many complications attached to a resumption of the 2019/20.

“Is it a coincidence”, asked Carragher, “that those executives and managers whose clubs are in or around the bottom three share the same opinion about either voiding or curtailing the campaign?”

The UEFA statement gave just two conditions under which they suggest leagues should consider cancelling the season, the first being when a government order prohibits sporting events for a considerable period of time.

In the Netherland this was confirmed on Friday with the Eredivisie being ended with no champion after the Dutch government imposed a ban on all major events until 1 September. However the UK government has so far only been introducing restrictions on a short-term basis.

The other reason given is if a resumption of play would lead to “insurmountable economic problems” for clubs. This, too, seems unlikely given that clubs actually stand to lose huge amounts of money if the fixtures cannot be played due to their enormous broadcasting contracts.

UEFA’s statement makes clear that they expect the Premier League to be able to complete the current season at some point, using some creative formatting if needed. It will be a relief to most to learn that six months of hard work will not go to waste.