The 2019-2020 season will be one that is forever remembered and all for the wrong reasons unfortunately. Our season was littered with poor performances, manager sackings, unrest with the board, Roberto and the only time we had heard of Corona was when we ordered one with lime in the summer.
I was unsure how the season would pan out but it was certainly going to be a struggle to stay up. Enter a world-wide pandemic that has had more of an impact on our season then our £45m forward and that is an understatement!
At this point of writing my monthly column for Blowing Bubbles, it is unclear how the season will be concluded but I can only see two possible solutions to it. The talk is that the games will be resumed behind closed doors and given an extension to the end of June to be concluded. This does not work for me at all.
It is well known that home teams are meant to have the advantage in football and with games against Burnley, Watford and Aston Villa (you could possibly throw Chelsea in there), I would expect us to be able to get points against these teams. The games against Watford and Villa could be pivotal in the relegation battle so by taking the home advantage away you are punishing those teams.Embed from Getty Images
I also cannot see this virus being completely under control in a few weeks so you will have teams that have players that they cannot select because they are isolating. Knowing our luck we will be the team with the most players unavailable because of Corona and again this would give our competition an unfair advantage.
I personally do not think there is any other option than to call the season void and start it again with the same teams in. Of course this would be incredibly harsh to Liverpool (although amusing) and to teams like Leicester and Wolves who have had great seasons.
But you cannot award Liverpool the league title and then finish the league for everyone else at this current point because European places are yet to be decided and even more importantly relegation (where Villa have played one less game). I really think we need to follow the lead of the non-league leagues who have already called the season off.
The only other possible solution that I could think of it to role the season over. Start it in August but with all the games that need to be played still being scheduled into that season and each team starts with the points and goal difference, etc that they were on when the season stopped.Embed from Getty Images
Effectively Liverpool would start with a 25 point lead and we would be out of the relegation zone on goal difference when it all kicks off in August. Again this is not the ideal solution but again is the only one that seems fair to me.
Of course Liverpool could then win the league with a record points total but the history books would have to reflect the circumstance. It is rumoured that the club prefer the model of promoting both Leeds and WBA and starting the season in August with them and then having a relegation of five the season after.
I think the club would favour this approach mainly because it would bring the most amount of money because there will be more games and therefore more gate receipts, more visits to the club shops on those days and more TV money.
Realistically I do not think this is a great option and I really do feel that voiding the season is the only real option. What a crazy world we are currently living in and for once as West Ham fans we are not the only ones being affected by it!