In reality, however we try and convince ourselves otherwise, football doesn’t really matter at all. The fact that we place an irrational amount of faith in 11 men we’ve probably never met to realise all our hopes and dreams just by kicking a ball between two posts seems risible in the extreme, really.
But there are many other ways in which football is vital, as put into perspective by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic. In non-league, Barnet have put all non-playing staff on notice of redundancy as a means of cost-cutting to survive without matchday revenue. Players and directors at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, among other Bundesliga clubs, have agreed to take significant pay cuts. Slowly but surely, other Premier League clubs are following suit.
Football will eventually return – even if that isn’t, or shouldn’t be, at the forefront of minds in the midst of this worldwide crisis. And trivial as they may seem currently, certain issues will need resolving; chiefly, the completion of the 2019-20 season.
Here are four avenues the Premier League could potentially take once lockdown in the UK is ended, normal life incrementally returns and it is once again safe to play football:
Option 1) Play The Fixtures Before The Next Season
Winners: Liverpool, Leicester, Sheff Utd
Losers: Everton, Man Utd, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Norwich, Watford, West Ham, Brighton
UEFA has reiterated its desire for all European leagues to be wrapped up by the end of June. Yet even with Euro 2020 put back a year, this looks increasingly fanciful as each day passes.
Even if that proves impossible to adhere to, we are led to believe that many clubs, at least in the EFL if not also the Premier League, are in favour of completing the current campaign no matter how long they must wait to do so.
One reported idea has been to play the remaining games behind closed doors in the Midlands and London, while keeping players and staff in isolated camps all the while, akin to those used by national teams during the World Cup, for instance.
This would limit the potential spread of coronavirus (if the numbers haven’t totally plateaued by then), avoid the legal minefield of curtailing the season altogether, and mean far less money from revenue is lost. Indeed, according to the Independent, the Premier League could lose up to £1.2billion if the fixtures are cancelling, compared to just £169 million if played behind closed doors
This would likely be the particular preference of clubs like Liverpool, who are 25 points clear at the top and two wins away from their first title in 30 years, as well as Leicester, who look bound for a return to the Champions League, and Sheffield United, who are in the hunt for European football following promotion from the Championship.
Meanwhile, fans of the likes of Everton and Manchester United would surely loathe the sight of Liverpool finally crossing the finish line, while the bottom six would still have their top-flight status to fight for.
Option 2: Play-Off For Key Positions (e.g. Champions League/Relegation)
Winners: Liverpool, Man City, mid-table sides
Losers: Those in contention for European places, the bottom six
This idea was initially put forward when the Italian Serie A was first suspended, though it is so unprecedented that quite how it would pan out is unknown.
Liverpool and Manchester City seem set to occupy first and second respectively, so they and the Premier League’s also-rans would probably benefit from their season ending early.
It would be less ideal for those in closer competition for key places, like third, fourth, fifth or 17th. Not only would they be at a disadvantage in terms of time for preparation for next season, but they could see roughly three-quarters of a season’s hard work undone in 90 or 180 minutes.
The losers of these play-offs would surely have a right to cry foul, too; the implications would be unimaginably huge that to decide these issues with such haste perhaps seems unfair. And in the case of the relegation battle, how do you devise a play-off system consisting of six, if not more, teams?
With all of that in mind, then, this would surely be among the last of the Premier League’s contingency plans.
Option 3: End The Season With An Average Points System
Winners: Liverpool, Leicester, Chelsea, Sheff Utd, Brighton, West Ham, Watford
Losers: Man Utd, Wolves, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Norwich
This would mean dividing each teams’ points total by the number of games they’ve played, essentially meaning the current league positions are used as final standings.
Manchester City, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sheffield United (28) are the only teams to have not played 29 matches, and while using their averages wouldn’t affect City in second or save Villa from relegation, it would see Sheff Utd overtake Wolves into sixth, meaning they could miss out on Europe, and Arsenal displace bitter rivals Spurs in eighth.
So while it would again be good news for Liverpool, for third and fourth-placed Leicester and Chelsea, and for Brighton, West Ham and Watford just above the drop zone, it would be bad news for Manchester United, three points off the top four in fifth, Wolves, and the bottom three.
Option 4: Void The 2019-20 Season And Start Afresh In 2020-21 With No Promotion/Relegation
Winners: Everton, Man Utd, Chelsea, Tottenham, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Norwich, Watford, West Ham, Brighton
Losers: Liverpool, Leicester, Sheff Utd
The problem simply may be that the break might be so long that the competition becomes distorted just by that itself, and so could invalidate the remainder of the season.
As such, cancelling the season and rendering it null and void is another alternative; some may argue that it’s better to take a hammer to one campaign to potentially two if the next one starts late as a consequence of this one finishing so overdue as well.
Yet while it would be the most straightforward and least circuitous route around the issue, it could simultaneously be opening up Pandora’s box, given the slew of legal issues that would inevitably arise.
Liverpool would feel unjustly robbed of the Premier League title they have already all-but secured, much as fans of Everton and Manchester United might bask in their devastation. Likewise, Leicester and Sheffield United would have their shot at European glory snatched from underneath them. West Bromwich Albion and Leeds would be denied promotion back to the top-flight, with Fulham and co. in the play-offs similarly aggrieved.
Essentially, though, there are no easy answers, and while this is a question that will doubtless need answering eventually, in the grand scheme of things, it certainly isn’t something which required urgent attention in the immediate future.
View the results of our survey: “How Should the 2019/20 Premier League Season End?” here.
And the winner is…
Also, congratulations to Newcastle fan, Tom, who won a £50 Amazon voucher after completing this survey!
DISCOVER: Best Gifts for Football Fans
Bestseller No. 1
Football 3D Lamp, QpenguinBabies 3D Night Light for Boys, Football Bedside Light 7 Colors Change, Football Lamp for Boys Kids Adults
- ❤CREATIVE 3D VISUALS ROOM DECOR: This is a 3D illusion light that displays football when it lights up, and an optical acrylic flat board carved with laser light gives you amazing 3D visuals. The 3d night light itself actually is flat but can creates an innovative 3D visual artistic atmosphere light. This is sure to surprise and impress your children and guests. Amazing optical visual illusion home football lamp makes your room more interesting.
- ❤7 COLORS CHANGING WITH SMART TOUCH: By acrylic light guide and the LED colorful source, LED football light can export a variety of color visual effects with a touch of the button on the base. This 3D LED illusion lamp has 7 different colors for you to change and choose, easily realizing your colourful 3D visual illusion depending on your mood or surrounding. Then the 8th touch to turn on makes it into the random colors.
- ❤A GUARANTEE OF QUALITY SLEEP: The kids lamp adopts newly designed ABS lamp holder and environment-friendly acrylic material, which is strong and high in toughness. 3D illusion lamp football is the most suitable bedside decoration lamps for infants and children. The light of table desk lamp is soft and bright, let your lovely child feel warm and have a good sleep at night.
- ❤LONG LASTING & ENERGY SAVING: Give your child a 3d football light to satisfy his curiosity about the unknown area. Durable ABS base in which there are 9 LED beads, powered by 5V USB cable connected to computer, laptop or your household adaptor. Power dissipation: 0.012kw.h/24 hours; LED Life span: 10000hours. This football night light for boys takes less energy, and even turns it on all night.
- ❤FOOTBALL GIFTS FOR BOYS: The beautifully designed gift boxes with our colour changing lamp are not only the best football toys for young football fans, but also the best Christmas gifts for children on birthdays, Birthdays, Thanksgiving, weddings, anniversaries, baby gifts, farewell parties, New Year's day and other best gifts for your family and friends.
SaleBestseller No. 3
BrainBox - Football - Card Game
- BrainBox Football is the 10-minute brain challenge that'll test your football knowledge while developing your memory and observation skills
- Each of its 54 cards features fun facts about a beloved football club; try to memorise everything that you see and read before flipping over the card to answer questions
- You won't only be learning about famous players and stadiums but also keeping an eye out for details. Can you remember if the penalty spot was visible?
- Made with a minimum of 70 Percent recycled materials, this green and travel-friendly game is a quick-playing delight that's good for play with family or groups of friends
- 1+ Players | Ages 8+ | 10 Minute Playing Time
SaleBestseller No. 4
Mitre Scriball Personaliseable Mini Football, Zultz
- Collect it, colour it, play it, an ideal gift for boys and girls whatever the occasion
- Mini football with five colouring pens for distinct colouring-in fun
- Includes ball pump and stand to proudly display their handiwork
- But it isn’t just for colouring in, it also encourages children to get into the garden for a kickabout
Bestseller No. 5
Kuyou Football Kick Trainer, Soccer Training Aid for Kids and Adults Hands Free Solo Practice,Volleyball/Rugby Training Equipment, Universal Fits #3#4#5 Footballs (Yellow)
- ⚽ Pratice And Enjoy - Perfect solo soccer trainer with premium quality and adjustable cord stretching up to 18 ft.Also comes with a durable tethered waistband, Enjoy praticing and improving your skills of control ball, shooting, passing, receiving, dribbling, throw-in like without chasing and pressured all around
- ⚽ Universal fits different sized balls-The football elastic band includes 5 velcro straps, the length of the velcro has 28cm, suitable ball size of 3, 4 and 5 ball.Players of all levels can gain more soccer skills through using this soccer training equipment
- ⚽ Flexible and Adjustable - The football training kit's belt strap is adjustable to fit waist sizes (33"-39").The elastic strap stretches 6ft -18 ft.Flexible adjustment of the ball length for better praticing and playing in backyard,playground and park for kids and adults
- ⚽ Develop Confidence - Shooting, passing, receiving, throw-ins, all of these ball control skills can obtain by training with this solo soccer kick trainer.Develop your confidence by improve the accuracy of the goal for each game
- ⚽ 100% Satisfaction After-sales Service: Kuyou promise to provide you the best option for outdoor articles. Please email us if you have any question, we will reply in 24 working hours
SaleBestseller No. 6
100 PICS Football Stars Travel Game - Guess 100 Players, Flash Card Quiz, Pocket Puzzles For Kids And Adults
- 100 FOOTBALL STARS TO GUESS. A fun footy game with photos of some of the world’s most recognisable football stars.
- POCKET-SIZED AND PACKED WITH FUN. Look at the letter clues and open the four doors to unveil a star footballer. Guess the name and then slide to reveal the answer.
- PERFECT PRESENT OR STOCKING FILLER for any football lovers. Play alone or with friends and family (age 8 plus).
- HANDY TRAVEL ACTIVITY. Fits neatly into your pocket or bag. Hours of screen-free entertainment - play in the back of the car, in restaurants, planes and trains.
- BOOST YOUR BRAIN. 100 PICS flash card games help improve vocabulary, spelling, and memory. Recommended by The Good Toy Guide.
Bestseller No. 8
Cadbury Dairy Milk Hollow Chocolate Football, 256 g
- Hollow Chocolate Football
- Premier League Edition made with milk chocolate
- Made with the delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate
- Our cocoa beans are sourced through the Cocoa Life Sustainability Program
- Suitable for Vegetarians
Bestseller No. 9
Smart Ball SBCB1B Football Gift for Boys Girls Age 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,12+ Years Old Kick Up Counting Power Ball with Glow Lights and Sounds Training Kids, White & Blue
- AMAZING COUNTING FOOTBALL: Introducing the latest innovation in football, Smart Ball Kick up Counting Football with lights and sounds This amazing counting football allows you to challenge yourself and your friends to see who can achieve more tricks Use your feet, legs, knees, chest and shoulders to keep the Smart Ball from hitting the ground and it will count each time it makes contact with you.
- FEATURES LIGHTS AND SOUNDS: As you reach key milestones Smart Ball will speak words of encouragement to spur you on as you challenge yourself to keep the ball in the air, and for even more fun, the Smart Ball lights up each time it comes into contact with your body.
- CHALLENGE FRIENDS: Compete with your friends to see who can get closest to the magic 100 kick ups
- PERFECT GIFT FOR FOOTBALL FANS: Whether you are looking for a Birthday gift, Christmas gift or other event, the Smart Ball Kick Up Counting Football is the perfect gift for football fans aged 6 years and over
- PRACTISE: Great for practising your kick ups and freestyling skills
SaleBestseller No. 10
92 Club Football Grounds Collect and Scratch Off Travel Map - Maps International - 29 x 42cm
- FOOTBALL STADIUMS: Scratch off map of the 92 major football grounds around England reveals the coloured team kit underneath on the detailed large wall map.
- HIGH QUALITY: The scratch off travel map is printed on premium 170gsm silk art paper with gold scratch map coating, and measures 29 (w) x 42 (h) cm.
- UNIQUE GIFT: This scratch off travel map is the perfect gift for football fans who can use the large wall map to log their visits to other grounds.
- CREASE-FREE DELIVERY: Your scratch off map is rolled in a tube for delivery, so it arrives ready to display.
- MAPS INTERNATIONAL: Our philosophy of ‘cartographic excellence’ combines detail, design and high quality finishes in a range of stunning wall maps.
SaleBestseller No. 11
Baztoy JT811 Kids Toys Air Power Soccer Ball Games Indoor Football Gifts for Boys Girls with Soft Foam Bumpers and Colorful LED Lights - Black
- Premium quality: Made of non-toxic plastic, soft bumper foam edging, flexible, safe and no hurt
- Novel design: Combines hockey and soccer features into one ball, which allows you to play in various ways. Glides on any smooth surface, floats on a cushion of air, how interesting!
- Colorful led lights: Equipped with LED lights, blinks red and blue lights in darkness, brings more fun for kids, making the game more exciting, requires 4 x 1.5v AA batteries (Not included).
- Fun time: Suitable for indoor and outdoor to play for fun, soft and safe toys for kids to play with friends or pets, also, good family games for kids to play with parents together.
- Funny gifts toys: Air Power Soccer is not only a fun toy, but also a fantastic Birthday gift, Christmas gift for kids, most importantly, the most special football gifts for boys.
SaleBestseller No. 13
Kids Water Bottle by elefunkie – Football Gifts for Boys – Unique Water Bottle for Kids, Collapsible - Childrens Water Bottle, BPA Free - Boys Water Bottle 500ml, Free eBook Name Tag…
- NO NASTY CHEMICALS: Our kids drinking bottle is BPA FREE & LFGB certified so you know your children are safe making the perfect football water bottle. The strong food-grade silicone ensures this kids drinks bottle is safe and a great football gift or boys birthday gift
- EVERYDAY I’M GUZZLIN’: Do your kids drink enough water? With a capacity of 500ml, up to 4 refills of this kids bottle is enough for their daily intake to be met. The flip-top spout makes the elefunkie childrens drinks bottle practical as well.
- FUNKY & FUNCTIONAL: Stunning football design you won’t find on another drinks bottles for kids. And when it’s all said and done, collapse it and put it away. Truly a unique gift for boys & girls and great as a birthday gift for boys
- DROP RESISTANT & LEAKPROOF: When did the last boys drinks bottle you bought lasted a whole school year? The elefunkie kids sport bottle is drop resistant up to 4ft making it ideal for sports and other fun activities
- ADD TO CART: Once you’re done, collapse, clip and go. All elefunkie water bottle for kids come with a carabiner so you’ll never lose it. So CLICK ADD TO CART and take advantage of our 30 day money back guarantee and give them the perfect boys gift
Bestseller No. 14
Anpro Hovering Football Set, with Inflatable Football and Goal,Rechargeable Indoor Game Ball Set, Buoyancy Sport with Football Led Lights,Football Gifts for Boys and Girls
- [Gorgeous sports toy set]: Anpro hovering football set contains a hovering football, an inflatable football, two football goals, a special inflatable pump, a USD charging cable and four suction cups; the ball needle is in the pump Inside the back cover, it will be safer and will not hurt children. Our hovering football has passed ASTM, HR4040, CPC, EN71, MSDS certification.
- [Move by buoyancy]: The hovering football has a powerful built-in motor and fan to generate airflow, so that it can float on a smooth surface. The hovering football has a built-in lithium battery that is rechargeable, with a battery capacity of 1200 mAh. It can be played for about 35 minutes when fully charged, which is more environmentally friendly and convenient.
- [Impact resistant design]: The edge of the ball is made of high-quality soft foam safety material, and the foam bumper is made of high-quality EVA ring material. The edge is not easy to burst, which can slow down the damage during exercise and protect it. Furniture. The straight tube at the bottom of the goal is stable with a suction cup and will not move easily.
- [Colorful LED lights]: The hovering football is equipped with LED7 color lights. Colorful LED lights will bring more fun! It only needs a small space to play football with children at any time. It is a good choice for family games or children's games, and it can promote parent-child relationship.
- [Exquisite gift for children]: Hovering football club is an ideal choice for children. It can arouse children's interest in football and cultivate sports habits. It is suitable for indoor activities and gatherings when you cannot go out. You can enjoy it easily PK battles and team competitions are fun, and you can play with multiple people!
SaleBestseller No. 15
World Football Stars Top Trumps Match Board Game
- The Crazy Cube Game - World Football Stars Edition
- Be the first to match five of your favorite footballers in a row – horizontally, vertically or diagonally
- But wait! Can your opponent steal the game? Do they have the Top Trump card, can they take the match and win the game
- Play with 15 of your favorite footballers including Harry Kane, Paul Pogba and Leo Messi
- Easy to set up and pack away, Top Trumps Match comes in a handy self-contained plastic case - play anytime, anywhere
SaleBestseller No. 19
World Football Stars Top Trumps Quiz Game
- Quizzical World Football Stars fun with a Top Trumps Twist
- Entertaining educational card game loved for bringing your favourite footballers to life
- 500 puzzling and captivating questions that will test your knowledge and memory
- Easy-to-carry plastic case means there are no limits on gameplay
- Prepare to outsmart your opponents, discover new and exciting facts and duel your way to becoming the Top Trump
Bestseller No. 20
PIXHOTUL Football Party Supplies - Sports Theme Party Pack Decorations for Kid's Birthday Including Plates, Cups, Napkins, Invitation Cards, Tablecloth, Banner, Gift Bags and Balloons, Serves 12
- VALUABLE PACKAGE: 12 x 9"(22cm) plates, 12 x 7"(18cm) plates, 12 x cups, 24 x table napkins, 12 x invitation cards, 12 x gift bags, 30 x balloons ( green, white, black 10pcs/color ), 1 x tablecloth, 1 x GOAL football banner, 4 x foil balloons.
- SAFETY & GOOD MATERIALS: All of the products are 100% food grade, non-toxic and durable. Plates, cups, napkins, banners, gift cards are made of Eco-friendly white paperboard. Gift bags, table covers are BPA free plastics. The balloons are made of foil and latex.
- PERFECT SIZE: The plates are 22cm / 9 inches and 18cm / 7 inches in diameter, the cups are 250ml, the napkins are 17 x 17cm, the invitation cards are 14 x 11cm, the gift bags are 25 x 16cm, the table cover is 180 x 110cm, the foil football balloons are 45cm in diameter, the latex balloons can inflate up to 30cm.
- WIDE OCCASIONS: Football party can be arranged all kinds of places, such as school and home, outdoors and indoors. Using theses party packs to decorate your kid's football theme birthday party, football sports festival, catering, picnic, outdoor events and so on.
- NO RISK PURCHASE: Add to Cart now! Satisfaction guarantee and 100% high quality. If you are not satisfied with it, please contact us by Email to get a full refund or new one.