Danny Peacock May 5, 2020

Little over a month ago I said in this article that football must be resolved by one way or another but as the authorities meet up to decide what happens next… I am really starting to see only one fair outcome and that is to end it all right now.

If you asked me at the start of Covid-19 lockdown whether I think the 2019/20 football campaign should be fully resolved I would have said a resounding “YES”… In thinking ‘all things’ back to normal by summer…, Let us get up, get out, get back on our feet and carry on… BUT…

And there is a big BUT…

Football simply can’t carry on the way we want…

Yesterday Premier League bosses discussed possible ways to end the current season ‘behind closed doors’ which for me would seem the only way to close the curtain on what has been a turbulent and disastrous campaign thus far but another twist has emerged that makes the whole bloody debacle even worse than it already is…

A new fear that clubs in stadiums near residential areas when playing behind closed doors will somehow ‘attract’ folk on to the street where they ‘might’ socially integrate thus potentially spread disease further has meant that officials are now looking to potentially play games away from any stadium that lays within 150 yards of a house!!!

That means teams like Liverpool, will not be able to play their games at Anfield… Tottenham won’t be able to play at their luscious new stadium… Chelsea cannot entertain at Stamford Bridge, nor can Watford host at Vicrage Road, Everton, Burnley, Bournemouth would probably all struggle to hold home games… Southampton should be ok though…

This all brings further turmoil to an argument to simply ‘close the season’ with an option to even end it ‘without’ relegation discussed… Seriously… What really is the point???

Ok I get that we need to award Liverpool the title… after all they have won it… So let’s just do that!!!

Give them a trophy, they deserve it, they were the best, they need to be crowned champions… They’re 25 points clear for f*cks sake.

So that’s one problem resolved… Now for the rest… Imagine playing a season where you have (in Aston Villa’s case) 13 home matches… 15 away matches… (as they have already played) with the rest at a ‘neutral’ venue bar perhaps their trip to Manchester City??? In the eyes of fairness… That simply can’t happen!!!

The Premier League cannot play matches behind closed doors at neutral venues whilst ‘home and away’ rules cannot be simply ignored on ‘impossible safety hypothesis’ because the ‘integrity’ of the competition would be ruined by a shifting of the goalposts that would never be given the light of day in any other circumstances.

If teams cannot fulfil their fixtures in the correct stadiums of the clubs involved then I see no point…

If teams cannot get relegated thus denouncing the terms of competition then I see no point…

Money often dictates football and it often angers me that it does but the big corporate sponsors and TV companies that will decide the fate of the FA Premier League are strongly and ‘rightfully’ against this and I really hope it does not happen.

Do I want to see football played again? Yes… Of course… But not at any cost…

The competition has to be fair, it has to be played how the season set it out to be played back in August and it has to be on a home and away basis like as before lockdown… Whether clubs want to agree to play games behind closed doors should be down to a vote… YES then play the games when it is safe to do so without fans… NO then play the games when it is safe to do so with fans. But whatever the decision, the season must end before January 31st 2020.

It looks like this most unsettled year for football will now already have a huge impact on the 2020/21 season so it now needs to be decided what happens with that too, but I say play the existing campaign out until conclusion then simply shut it down until we can all go and watch our teams play… Because football cannot go on without fans, so without them attending stadiums in their droves, what even is the bloody point??

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