As we sit at home endlessly scrolling on our phones and watching our 6th hour of Netflix, we are all hoping and praying we don’t have to wait too long for the return of football and the finish of the football season.
This week the FA confirmed that all football below the National League Divisions would be officially ended. Meaning the close of the football season and all potential promotions/relegations reset. Obviously devastating news for teams such as South Shields (12 points clear at the top of the Northern Premier Division).
It again rears the question of what will happen to the Premier League and the EFL. Both the PL and EFL have been adamant in their stance that the current season will be completed…. but will it?
What are the options?
Yesterday Wuhan ended its lockdown after two months and partly reopened, allowing people in but not out. Most of Europe though are in their first few weeks and this is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Hypothetically if the UK was to follow the Wuhan timetable this would put us in late May the lockdown ends. In normal times the season would have been completed at this point. However as we know these are unprecedented times, so what could happen to the current season?
Hypothetically, if the UK did end the lockdown before June, teams could play twice a week and fit the fixtures into a 5 week period. This would end the season before July. The prospect of mass gatherings returning in June though seems extremely unlikely so the games would have to be played behind closed doors. Does anyone really want that? Should the players even be playing football if that’s still the case?
The Winter Start
One idea is to start the season in Winter and apply the same to the next two seasons. Enabling us to rest and then go straight into the World Cup with a fresh squad. The issue here is what happens after the World Cup? A prolonged break from January to August to get back to the original timings is not ideal either and could also negatively impact the Euro’s.
20/21 Season Hit
Another option is to finish this season as per the set weekly schedule, in front of the fans, even if this means scrapping next season. Although seeming pretty unpalatable currently I can actually see this becoming a reality. The fact is nobody can predict when we will be able to resume football. If it ends up being winter this year or even early next, finishing this season, having the Euros, and then starting again in August seems a decent option.
The final option is cancelling this season in it’s entirety. Although potentially popular with those who have had poor seasons, Liverpool, Leeds and West Brom among many more would be left feeling cheated and robbed. The potential knock on effect could be huge. Liverpool may push for the creation of a Super League, a popular idea among many of Europe’s elite clubs. It could well spell the beginning of the end of the English game as we know it now.
My personal opinion is that the season must be finished, it must be played in front of the fans and if that means having no 20/21 season then so be it. At least there is the European Championships in Summer to compensate.
What are your thoughts?