The FA’s chief executive Mark Bullingham has confirmed “everyone’s priority is to finish the season,” paving the way for Liverpool to clinch the Premier League title.
UEFA announced on Tuesday afternoon that the European Championship will be postponed from this summer to the next, with president Aleksander Ceferin urging the conclusion of domestic calendars.
“We think that postponing the Euro is the only chance to give a chance to the national leagues to finish their competitions,” he explained, having received “100 percent support” from the respective football associations.
That includes the English FA, and speaking to Sky Sports after UEFA’s confirmation, Bullingham said the “priority” is to see the current campaign through.
“That’s one of the main reasons for delaying the Euros, to allow a window that, if the virus gets under control, there will be a window to potentially finish the season,” he explained.
“At the moment, we don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re planning every eventuality, so that we can react.
“The most important thing at the moment is people’s health.”
Bullingham added that “clearly there are different scenarios, if you try and finish the season before the end of June and after it,” with the FA “building up a contingency for every different eventuality.”
This is a sensible approach, as though Bullingham is right to note “there are so many variables,” it would little sense to void the season only to restart in August.
As with the Euros, the common-sense decision would be to delay the next Premier League campaign if required, and this seems likely to be the development when clubs, officials and stakeholders meet on Thursday.
Liverpool are six points from winning the title for the first time since 1990, and though rightly the focus at this time is on public health, to void this season would deprive them of a deserved achievement.
It would also have a major impact on other sides’ promotion, relegation and European qualification hopes.
A number of clubs still challenging for a place in next season’s Champions League and Europa League, for example, with nine points separating Chelsea in fourth and Crystal Palace in 11th.
To void the season could present legal issues with clubs and sponsors, with the likes of Leeds and West Brom having grounds to file a lawsuit if they are denied their expected promotion to the top flight, due to the loss of earnings.
For Liverpool fans, Bullingham’s stance is a welcome one; the Reds should still win the league, just it may come months later than expected.