Wednesday 8 April 2020

Should 2019-20 league leaders be champions?

It’s been a debate that has for the most part dominated the entirety of the last months. Since the January COVID-19 outbreak started to spread, it soon became clear that the future of some of the league tournaments taking place would become uncertain. Teams who are a point clear at the top of their league with as many as ten games to play – is it really fair that they get handed the league?

This is a debate that shows no sign of stopping, either. For every Rio Ferdinand who says leagues should be void, there’s a voice saying the total opposite. It’s hard not to look at this through the eyes of the team(s) we support, too; how can you really say, for example, that you want your biggest rivals to be given a title?

But at the same time, how could anyone realistically say someone like Liverpool isn’t going to win the league here?

It’s a nightmare scenario, but one that has to be dealt with – and soon. There really is no opportunity for teams to hide from this; they need to find a solution and to bring closure to the season. The view of many is that leagues should be called as they are; there will be winners and losers in that situation, of course. But is it really any worse than, say, writing off a full season of football?
How can fans who have spent thousands travelling to and from games find any kind of solace in the idea that the leagues would be voided?

If a league is any more than 60% finished, then it would be fair to say that it could be called. However, while this means that some teams would likely to win leagues they might not have otherwise, and other teams relegated who may have stayed up, these are unique and trying times.
From what we hear, though, the consequences of voiding a season would be far greater than the consequences of declaring all standings early.