Sir Kenny Dalglish has labelled desperate calls to void the Premier League after its suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak as “totally out or order.”
The Premier League is currently suspended until at least the first week of April, after a host of clubs were forced into quarantine due to players and staff contracting the virus.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Brighton, Everton and Bournemouth are among those directly affected, and the decision was made to postpone fixtures as a result, with Liverpool’s next planned game the trip to Man City on April 5.
But amid the disruption, a host of senior figures have suggested the season be voided, with all 20 teams to remain in the league for the next campaign, and no sides relegated or awarded the title.
West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady pedalled this line in her column for the S*n—unsurprising, given under their current leadership the Hammers are in real risk of dropping into the Championship when the season is resumed.
“Any person with football at heart would admit that would be totally out of order,” he wrote.
“In Scotland, would it be fair to say to the Premiership leaders, Celtic, that all of their efforts in the past nine months over 30 games count for nothing? The same would apply to Dundee United in the Championship.
“Would any person without an agenda really think it would be the most-sensible outcome to deny Liverpool their chance of winning the title after doing fantastically well in their 29 league games so far to build up a 25-point lead over Manchester City with nine games remaining?
“Of course not. Nobody can allow the hard work to count for nothing. So let’s do away with any of this talk, and try to use our time and energy wisely.”
It is a sensible take from the King, who also argued that clubs will be required a 10-day “mini pre-season” before the return to action, and that regardless of when football resumes, “no transfers [can be] allowed in or out.”
There are issues with this, of course, in terms of contract law—with both Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana seeing their terms with Liverpool expire at the end of June, and therefore if the campaign runs beyond that point they are no longer available.
But there is little arguing that the season’s end should be anything but delayed, as opposed to voided, because as Dalglish writes “it is not fair to coaches, owners, players, supporters and sponsors to even think about deciding the past few months count for nothing.”