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Roy Hodgson latest to reaffirm decision to conclude Premier League season

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Former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is the latest figure to give his verdict that the Premier League season must “come to an end” by fulfilling all 38 fixtures.

The Premier League came to a halt on March 13 and remains on hold indefinitely until it is “safe and appropriate to” resume.

But with football taking a central part in many lives, players and coaches no less, there have been copious amounts of views expressed on how the league should resume, if at all.

And while some have been vocal in their view that the season should be declared null and void, like that of steps 3 to 7 of the National League system in England, the majority are committed to completing the season once it is safe to do so.

It is widely accepted that it will need to take place behind-closed-doors such is the nature of the pandemic the world is facing.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 23, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (R) and Crystal Palace's Andros Townsend during the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Liverpool sit 25 points clear at the Premier League summit and are merely six points away from being crowned champions, the state of the table elsewhere remains up in the air.

And as such, Hodgson, whose Crystal Palace side sit in 11th place – 12 points away from the relegation zone and six from the top five – is firm in his view that the campaign must come to a natural close and not through “artificial means.”

“Everyone is in total agreement we need an end to this season. We don’t want artificial means of deciding who wins the league, who gets into the Champions League, who gets relegated and promoted,” he said.

“Ideally our players would have three or four weeks’ minimum to prepare for the first match back, but I accept there may have to be a squeeze on that timeframe.

“It might mean extra restrictions at our place of work – the training ground – for example.

“It may also mean that we have to play our nine remaining matches in a shorter period of time than we normally would have done, and subsequently receive a shorter break between the seasons.

“But I think with all of these sacrifices – and I am uncomfortable using that word in such a context – everyone will be more than happy to go along with what it takes in order to get playing again as soon as possible in order to get the season finished.”

Like Kenny Dalglish who heaped praise on the NHS after his brief stint in hospital this past week, Hodgson could not speak more highly of the work being conducted across the UK.

He added: “One simply cannot praise the staff too highly, in my opinion. I’ve always been a huge supporter of the NHS, they do and have always done a fantastic job.

“We’re so lucky in this country to have a system like it, I’ve always felt that we do have a fantastic service and now it’s being demonstrated to everyone so clearly, that the resources we put in are well spent.”

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