Liverpool are reportedly set to be confirmed as this year’s champions, as drastic measures are set to be taken if the outbreak of COVID-19 ends the Premier League season completely.
Following the postponement of the games, until April 3 at the very least, there are now doubts and questions being asked about whether it would be possivle to even conclude this year’s English Football Calendar.
Liverpool are on the brink of ending their title wait and hold the biggest points gap in Europe
In bold and controversial plans, five teams could be relegated from the top flight and the EFL Cup axed completely in order to facilitate football when it resumes, as British newspaper is reporting today.
If the projections of the UK Government over the spread of the virus prove correct, the football season would be pushed back to unexpected lengths, while there is is no regulation governing what happens if the 2019-20 campaign is cancelled outright.
Current League leaders Liverpool are 25 points well ahead of their rivals Manchester City in second, and two more victories for Jurgen Klopp’s men will give them the title.
It is reported that no objection will come from fellow teams in the division to deny the Merseyside club their crown.
At the bottom end of the division, however, along with promotion up from the Championship, the waters become much more murky and contentious calls may have to be made.
It is being reported that one proposal which could be up for discussion would be for Leeds and West Brom, the current top two in the Championship, to be promoted and for 22 teams to compete in next season’s Premier League.
Leeds United lead the Championship and may be promoted along with West Brom
The EFL Cup would hypothetically be postponed for one year – and this would then allow extra space in the fixture list, with five clubs, instead of three, relegated at the end of the season.
Agreements would have to be made across the leagues, along with the governing footballing bodies, in order for proposals to be rubber-stamped.
The next matter would then be to address the Champions League. Even though this competition falls under the jurisdiction of UEFA, steps would have to be put in place in order to determine the qualification process for the next edition.
A reported idea suggests each of the English sides who qualified for this season’s tournament would keep their places next season, while any additional sides currently making up the contention spots – including Leicester City, Manchester United and Wolves – would enter an extended qualifying phase.
FA chairman Greg Clarke has personally told Premier League chiefs that he believes the domestic season will not be completed due to the virus. He made these comments yesterday morning whilst attending an emergency meeting as the Premier League, EFL and the Women’s Super League were suspended until April 3 in response to the worrying growth of coronavirus cases in the game.