PREMIER LEAGUE football has been suspended until further notice due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis – so will Liverpool win the title?
Football chiefs have ordered an indefinite break with the pandemic worsening and sporting events being cancelled worldwide.
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But what does this mean for the top-flight? Will the season be finished? Will Liverpool still be crowned champions?
Here’s what we know at this stage.
What’s happening with the Premier League?
The Premier League has been suspended indefinitely as the pandemic continues to grip the UK.
That postponement will be lifted depending on government advice and the spread of the virus – with Prem bosses saying football will only resume when ‘safe to do so’.
Right now we remain in lockdown measures across the UK, which will be reviewed on May 7.
But the Premier League have reportedly been given a ‘tentative’ green light to resume in June behind closed doors despite the coronavirus crisis.
A source close to one player told SunSport: “The players are being told that mid-June is the time to expect football to kick off again.
“And to aim for training to start again in the middle of May – that should give enough time.”
The Premier League is expected to return solely as a ‘TV event’, with it suggested that Wembley could be used to stage up to FOUR games a day to make it happen.
Premier League clubs met on Friday 17 April for a two-hour meeting, with the best-case scenario discussed seeing the first behind-closed-doors games take place on Monday June 8, meaning training would resume in mid-May.
Mass testing will be made available for all players, staff and media at training grounds and stadiums as they desperately try to cram all remaining fixtures into just a six-week period.
Clubs face the prospect of playing as late as August – with the Big Six leading the charge AGAINST ending the season early on June 30.
Would Liverpool be crowned champions if the season is cancelled?
Simply put, nobody knows.
UEFA chief Ceferin suggested Liverpool would not be crowned champions if the league is cancelled due to coronavirus.
He said: “I’ve saw and heard some again fake news that Uefa will advise leagues to finish the championships now and decide that the winners are the ones who are number one now.
“I can say that it’s not true.
“Our goal is to finish the leagues and we didn’t recommend anything like that to any association or league.”
However, the final decision will be made by the Premier League’s board – interim chair Claudia Arney, chief executive Richard Masters and director Kevin Beeston.
They will consult with all 20 clubs but the final decision will rest with the board.
There is no sign yet of a precedent from abroad, with the countries who have cancelled their seasons – France and Holland – taking different approaches.
In the Eredivisie, the title will not be awarded and there will be no relegation either, with only the European places being decided based on the current table.
However, there may be more of a precedent from the French approach, where PSG currently sit 12 points clear with a game in hand and will be awarded the title.
There will also be relegation from Ligue 1 this year.
What will happen to the fixtures?
As it stands, all Premier League, Football League and FA Cup fixtures are postponed and the plan is still to rearrange them for a later date.
When that date will be depends on when it’s decreed safe to start playing football again. Again, nobody knows just when that will be at the moment.
What about the Champions League, Europa League and Euros?
The Champions League and Europa League are on hold with their respective finals now postponed until Saturday August 29 and Wednesday August 26 respectively.
There is also the possibility that to ease fixture congestion, the semi-finals and finals could be played as one tournament at the venue where the finals are scheduled to be played.
Euro 2020 has been postponed by a year until the summer of 2021.
Could the season be cancelled altogether?
Potentially, despite Prem bosses assuring fans that they want to complete the campaign if at all possible.
During crisis talks on March 27, they admitted that “difficult decisions will need to be made” about what to do with the rest of the season.
On April 25, it emerged that bosses were planning to get the season underway ‘within weeks‘, with a June resumption most probable.
Fans woult be unable to visit grounds and the games are set to be played behind-closed-doors for the foreseeable future, with ministers keen to boost morale following the lengthy lockdown.
But in a major blow on April 28 – just moments after football in France was cancelled until September – FIFA Medical Committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe revealed he did not believe football should return until September 1 at the earliest.
Will anybody be promoted or relegated?
Ideally, the season will be finished in the summer with promotion and relegation spots decided.
If not, there could be all kinds of legal action and lawsuits from teams with millions of pounds on the line.
Might next season be delayed?
It’s a possibility. One option could be to extend this season to allow it to play out to a natural conclusion and then restructure next season.
European football might not even exist next season if the campaigns can’t be completed.