English football is postponed until at least early April, with the EFL and Premier League confirming all games are off.
The widespread impact of the coronavirus continues to be felt across the sporting world and, finally, the Premier League have followed the likes of MLS, Ligue 1 and LaLiga in postponing matches.
This news finally came through after individuals from Bournemouth, Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea all were either tested positive for the virus or in self-isolation, making the announcement all-but-irrelevant anyway with nearly a quarter of the league in shutdown mode.
Fans of all teams were quick to respond in different ways to the news, from the serious to the longer-term view, the sporting- and the health-focused, and everything in between.
How long it took to come to this conclusion irked some, as well as the fact no contingency plans have been in place
Why didn't the PL & other leagues have a rule saying if the league is two 3rds complete & abandoned, were you are at that time that's were you finish.
— Eathen.. (@Eathen_1892) March 13, 2020
To be honest it’s a fucking joke that it’s got this far. The season should have been postponed weeks ago and restarted when appropriate. I, of course, want LFC to win the league as soon as possible after a fucking 30 year wait but this needs containing. https://t.co/0d4Y9tI59K
— Mick Moran (@m1cklfc) March 13, 2020
We could have done this yesterday. Like, everyone other country. Except we waited for a manager and player to get it before we acted. Which is not proactive, it’s retroactive. Which is what I was pointing out yesterday. Fun being right some times.
— Georgie Bingham (@georgiebingham) March 13, 2020
From a Liverpool perspective, there’s relief that the entire season is not immediately voided
Sensible decision to suspend for a few weeks. Those calling for cancellation at this stage are utterly pathetic. Of course public health is the most important, but the situation can be re-evaluated. Most would just like to take joy in Liverpool not being awarded the title. #LFC https://t.co/efaloijQWR
— Tom Hamer (@Tom_Hamer7) March 13, 2020
Not cancelled pic.twitter.com/YTwa0b3SWB
— Keanu (27-1-1) (@keanu_lfc_17) March 13, 2020
So as long as a further postponement isn’t required then #LFC’s next game will be Manchester City away on Sunday April 5. If that goes ahead then Klopp’s side would clinch the title if they win at the Etihad.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) March 13, 2020
There were acknowledgements that public health and safety must come first before football’s needs
Even as a Liverpool fan and waited so long to win a premier league title and don’t get that this season it’s for the best. Most important thing at the moment is containing the virus so the situation doesn’t get worse. There are things bigger then football and this is one of them.
— Saucy_Salah (@SaucySalah) March 13, 2020
Right decision. Nobody wants football cancelled, we lose part of our lives, our routines. But this could make a difference to thousands of people in the UK and across Europe. Safety will always trump sport. https://t.co/YYihMH6sIt
— Phil Costa (@_PhilCosta) March 13, 2020
Piss poor government advice , I am glad EFL are taking action. Let's come to together and help the ones at high risk. This Saturday instead going to the game help a vulnerable person avoid this horrendous virus by doing their shopping or getting them medication.
— Michael Hunter (@Michael_BHunter) March 13, 2020
Of course, some took a humorous view or pointed out the few positives of the whole situation
Can't believe a virus from China is putting more pressure on Liverpool's title challenge than any other club in the Premier League
— Pøgba Senior (@TheSaItIsHere) March 13, 2020
At least Alisson will be fit by the time it gets going again #everycloud
— stuart (@trigger39) March 13, 2020
Liverpool 2019/20 pic.twitter.com/Puo5uW1EnU
— ? (@CaoIan_) March 12, 2020
And it was also made clear that the longer-term knock-on effects are yet to be established
The right decision to postpone games. The April return date seems unlikely but now there’s action plans can start to be made as to how the season finishes etc. Moving Euro’s a must.
— Joanna Durkan (@JoannaDurkan_) March 13, 2020
What happens once players contracts start expiring in June? PL rules is 14 club majority decides everything so interested to see where their loyalty lies. If they cancel the season I’m done with football. Integrity lost.
— Jonathan Champion (@dfitzgeralds) March 13, 2020
No chance!!!! It’s ours no mater what. I suspect Euro’s will be postponed and season extended over Summer.
— Liam Calland (@yorkshireguy) March 13, 2020
The last time football leagues were cancelled in England was after just 3 rounds of fixtures [7%] had been played of the 1939/40 season compared to 76% of the current season – a massive difference, no matter how long the suspension is the 2019/20 season has to finish. #COVID2019
— Carl Clemente (@clemente_carl) March 13, 2020
With the best part of a month now until action resumes, fans should focus their efforts on ensuring they and their families remain safe and do whatever is needed to help prevent further spreading of the disease.
Even in the absence of fixtures there will doubtless be fast-moving news and changing scenarios in the coming days, as the Premier League and the rest of the world get to grips with an unprecedented challenge.