Dear Roker Report,
Like many others I’m sure, I think there is no realistic way of concluding the current football season or starting a new season this calendar year.
Behind closed doors, top eight play offs, game ratios, etc - they are all non-starters. It won’t get support from the leagues’ teams.
If the current season is cancelled, then it should be declared null and void. No promotions. No relegations. Okay, that may be tough on those at the top, but (perhaps except Liverpool) there’s no guarantee that’s where they would finish. Equally, it’s fairer on those in relegation positions (perhaps except Bolton) as that’s not necessarily where they’d finish. In any event, I can’t see any way to start the 2020/21 season this year.
IMO there is only one option for both the Premiership and EFL: Postpone the current league until we are able to complete it safely from February next year, meaning the current season will be 2019/21.
This would mean clubs have time to properly prepare to recommence (players, staff, facilities, etc), giving plenty time to complete league fixtures, cup competitions, play-offs, and even conclude the January transfer window! Surely it’s a fairer solution all round?
However, we need to get well past this pandemic first, so let’s see what the government say.
Ed’s Note [Alex]: The solution you’ve proposed there must surely be the most sensible one, Steve.
The difficulty with such an issue first and foremost is that it is virtually unprecedented - there isn’t a previous instance of a pandemic halting the progress of every league competition in England, so there isn’t anywhere we can immediately look to as either a solution or as a means to learn from mistakes once made.
Secondly, it is undoubtedly the case that every solution (aside from bluntly postponing all football for the foreseeable) will favour some teams while others, by the same token, will perceive the proposition as a horrendous injustice. Take the ‘top eight play-off’ suggestion as an example - it sounds great for a team like Sunderland who are hitherto 7th in League One and under-performing as of the season’s early conclusion, but for Coventry who were trying to break away at the top, the fans would be beyond indignant with the prospect of ‘finishing’ top but still requiring a play-off final to go up!
Ultimately, none of the respective league administrations would want to show any favouritism to any of the Premier or Football League’s teams - lest they risk allegations of gross incompetence - so it only makes sense to simply delay the conclusion of the 2019/20 season until the burden on the NHS has eased to the point where football can resume in conventional style.
Dear Roker Report,
Is anyone else also hoping that the Dutch consortium consisting of Henrik Larsson (yes I know he is Swedish), Ronald Koeman, Philip Cocu, Dirk Kuyt and Dennis Bergkamp may come in to buy our club?
They’re reportedly part of a group who are worth £3.2 billion, apparently they missed out on Wycombe Wanderers last season so looking for a League One level club.
Surely it’s a better outlook than we currently have!
Ed’s Note [Alex]: A consortium consisting of some of football’s more prominent names, backed by £3 billion, taking over a club aiming to get out of League One? Sounds good to me.
Let’s send them flowers! It worked the last time we wanted a Dutch presence at the club for the next season.