Let’s face it: being stuck indoors is actually putting a downer on us all and our lack of football isn’t helping. We are filled with uncertainty when (or if) the season will continue once the pandemic has passed, and there’s a high possibility of it being frozen.
Here are a few of the current options available:
Null and void the season
A choice most popular with a lady most famous for being on the Apprentice than for her position at West Ham: Karen Brady.
How does this work? Basically all the matches this season in the Premier League are not counted at all. Which could Include previous games played. This might seem more popular for teams who are still fighting for staying in the league. But the argument against this decision is overwhelming. For starters this would affect the club as there wouldn’t be a decision over who made the Champions League or the Europa League; meaning there could be a difference between what happens in the transfer market when it opens back up and how stable the club is for the next season. Other arguments include the championship clubs who are in the race for the Premier League would be queuing up for some compensation. Which might have a knock-on effect in the EFL and lower down the divisions as well.
At this moment in time this seems the most likely outcome.
Play behind closed doors.
This could be a option for the teams. The rest of the fixtures to be played out, but no fans will be allowed to attend the games. Most of whom will be against this. With Arsenal reportedly receive around three to four million pounds in revenue for each match played at home. Add in the fact that season ticket members are getting refunds for not reaching the allotted, the club has already lost more money. So the club may reject the chance to lose anymore income. Unless forced to do so as seen in other leagues or the Champions League and Europa League. But it might offer a chance for a streaming service to take advantage by offering to pay to show each game live that hasn’t been taken by BT or Sky. This would be an interesting decision if it is on the table.
A popular choice for other sports and the lower divisions to decide championships, relegations and promotions. The main flaw in this idea is that you have to draw the line somewhere; realistically you could argue that the sides in the bottom six would have to be fighting for survival, while the top ten decide the other European spots. The first spot of course would go to Liverpool who are automatically first and were guaranteed Champions League next season and of course, Manchester City would be excluded as they are still fighting the ban they face ahead of whenever this season is closed. Additionally these matches could be set up as home and away matches; and additional rules may come into play. Fans have argued plentiful about the away goal rule ruining football, maybe it’s time to test whether or not the away rule shouldn’t be allowed anymore? Imagine that all Arsenal had to do was win two ties to get back into the Champions League and with talk continuously being spoken about certain players and if they leave in the next window what a great present to say “I helped get you back where you belong…”
A popular choice from fans of popular gaming and sport fans alike has seen the rise of games such as Football Manager and others. For those that aren’t familiar the game gives you a chance to take the role of manager at any club of your choice. It could be a fun way to see managers decide to take on each other in the remaining games and even in the FA Cup. However, this could be seen as a very obscure way to finish a season, as in the game nothing is certain and maybe some managers may have the upper hand if they are playing the game in their spare time. There are also many other issues with this way to end the season but for now it would be most unlikely this would ever be respected by everyone involved and let alone would fans accept the results.
Yes, another game but this time the players and managers are involved. Matches played for a full 45 mins intervals and each player controls their own player (for example, Berd Leno would be in goal controlling his virtual self). This could be a fun experience and give the similar feeling that fans experienced when watching the matches on Amazon during the festive period. However, much likely this could be an obscure option again the question remains, would the results be respected by all?
Recently the Belgian League became the first league to decide that their current league position was final. Could this be the case for the Premier League to consider if the quarantine continues? However UEFA have refused the situation due to conflicts over next years European competitions. But could UEFA decide to refuse if other top leagues in Europe follow? The main issue is the Kroenkes are trying to make the club financially stable by itself and not reliant on its owner as much. But not getting into Europe next season could mean that the worst is to come and we could be going back to selling our best players once again. Although we have seen the rich boys in London go without Europe for a season and win the league – those circumstances were a lot different and they got away with it; I am about ninety percent sure that if we were out of Europe for a season we wouldn’t be able to reach that feat.
At the end of the day whatever is decided will be by the players, clubs and the league itself. The fans must be prepared for whatever outcome happens. As some fans sing “que sara sara, whatever will be, will be” who knows when fans might start seeing the excitement and buzz around the Emirates on matchdays – not to forget the away games as well.
Hopefully we will get to see it all sometime soon – whether it’s as a new season or a continuation of the current one is out of our hands.