On Friday, March 13, a traditionally ominous day, the Premier League was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom with hopes that it may reconvene on April 3. The league will decide in early April when the season can be picked up with the 30th round of games to be played and Liverpool just six points off of winning the title.
The Premier League could be continued well into the summer with UEFA stating the European Championship could also be moved back due to the domestic fixtures needing to be finished. The top flight of English football isn’t the first professional sports league to suspend its games. The NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, Serie A, and La Liga have all suspended games for the time being. Like the Premier League, there is hope that games could resume in a few weeks.
Not long after the decision to suspend the season was announced on Friday, it was also reported that a “number of senior officials from Premier League clubs” wanted to cancel the season altogether.
The number of clubs interested in voiding the season is most likely small. Manchester United, Manchester City, West Ham, Norwich City, Bournemouth, and Aston Villa are the most likely candidates as the clubs that wish to end the season and act like it didn’t occur.
But why does the season even need to be completed? Why can’t it be ended now and all league positions held up as the final places for each team?
Premier League teams have had 29 (in some cases 28) games to get their houses in order. Yes, there are still nine games left in the term but teams have had plenty of chances to win games and position themselves. An epidemic presents extraordinary circumstances but it shouldn’t take away from what has been an exciting season.
If the Premier League was a tight race for the title, then it makes sense that the season wouldn’t be ended. However, Liverpool are 25 points above their nearest rival and the title is on the verge of going to Anfield. Therefore, there is no reason, if the season is ended at this point, that Liverpool shouldn’t be handed the trophy.
Just hours after the announcement that the season would be suspended until April 3, it was reported that Premier League officials do not believe there is a chance that football will return on the date. Several players and coaches are in isolation due to the coronavirus and it was announced on Friday that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has contracted it. Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi had also contracted the virus.
The only thing that is certain at this point is that things could change quickly. Just three weeks ago, little was known by most people about the coronavirus. It will take time to understand just how the sports world will cope with and return from the pandemic. Yet, it is too early to cancel anything indefinitely at the moment until more time passes.