Unchartered waters and difficult decisions

The Premier League has pencilled in a resumption of action for the first week of April but the feeling is that that is optimistic. The question that will be pondered anxiously between now and then is what happens next?

Lyndon Lloyd 14/03/2020 227comments  |  Jump to last

It’s strange to think as we sit here in the wake of the whirlwind events of this past week that Everton might not kick a ball in anger again until August. No one knows, of course; the more dire prognostications suggest that the three weeks’ buffer that the Premier League has bought itself by suspending matches until the first week of April won’t be enough. The prediction is that the forced halt of professional football will need to be extended, perhaps well into May as novel coronavirus continues its spread across the globe.

At the time of writing, the official count of those who have tested positive for the virus in the United Kingdom stands at 798. That’s around 400 more than was the case a couple of days ago but it represents just 0.0012% of the population. There is, of course, no way to know exactly how many people are walking around with the virus and, because of that, no remotely accurate way to know what the mortality rate of COVID-19, the illness caused by this particular SARS virus, might be in the British Isles.

China has experienced over 3,000 deaths from around 80,000 reported cases and social media timelines are full of messages from residents of Italy, where the number of fatalities has passed 1,000 from 15,000-plus officials cases, urging other countries not to be complacent about the risks from COVID-19. Which is why major sport organisations across Europe and the football leagues in England have acted out of an abundance of caution to cancel or suspend leagues and events ahead of an anticipated mandate from the Government.

The Premier League in England, of course, did everything it could to keep its schedule of matches intact, even if that entailed the deeply unpalatable solution of playing them in empty stadiums just to ensure that the season was completed and that they avoided significant penalties, particularly with regard to their overseas broadcast contracts, triggered by their failure to fulfil the mandated number of televised games. Being the biggest beast on that particular landscape means that the Premier League has the most to lose from a cancelled season.

Of course, while we sit here like an island nation under a tsunami warning but unsure of whether the incoming surge will be a ripple or a tidal wave, the question that will be pondered anxiously between now and the 4th of April is what happens next?

Uefa honchos will meet with stakeholders via videoconference on Tuesday chiefly to discuss the fate of the European Championships. Should they agree to postponing it until 2021 — that the tournament will be spread out across 12 different venues in as many nations might end up being a huge slice of serendipity to come from Michel Platini’s original proposal as it will minimise the disruption to preparations that would be suffered by a single host nation — it would give Europe’s leagues the breathing room they would need to extend their seasons into the summer. This is surely the best option from a financial point of view, not least for clubs in the lower divisions.

Again, that might not be enough; while the contractual implications of going beyond the 30th June deadlines on so many contracts could be worked out through special dispensation, everything depends on when the virus contagion peaks on the Continent and in the UK. Some experts say we might not be on the back side of the curve until June. In that case, there might not be enough time to play the rest of the scheduled 2019-20 games before season 2021-20 starts being impacted.

All of this has led to the argument being put forth that the Football Association and the Premier League should simply cancel the season altogether if matches do not resume in April. How that is handled will involve no small amount of controversy, though. The prevailing proposal, one outlined in The Telegraph, would be to declare the season over with the current standings regarded as final.

There are number of issues with this, of course — not all teams have faced each other home and away so there are inherent disadvantages to some clubs, not least Everton whose recent difficult run of games has dropped them into the bottom half and getting on for £7m worse off in terms of merit payments on where they were a month ago — and they could spark a slew of legal challenges. It would hand Liverpool the league title but it would also deny a host of clubs, not least an ascendent Manchester United, the chance of qualifying for the Champions League (Manchester City’s ongoing legal fight with Uefa notwithstanding) or the Europa League. It would also relegate Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City based on the current table, unless it was agreed that there would be no relegation. As it is explained in the Telegraph article, the proposal would see the Premier League retain its current 20 clubs and the top two in the EFL Championship promoted as usual but then next season the bottom five would go down, a notion that would be particularly uncomfortable to the teams most likely to finish in the bottom half and one which would probably see the League Cup scrapped for a season to make room in the calendar.

The cleanest solution, of course, would be to void the 2019-20 season altogether and start afresh in August. Lord knows it’s been a mess from start to partial finish with the failed Video Assistant Referee experiment and there would be few outside of Anfield who would feel aggrieved. Keep the Premier League as it is with the same 20 teams, same European qualifiers and perhaps even kick off with the same schedule for 2020-21.

That would be tough on Everton, of course, given that we were handed those two gruelling four-game sequences against “big six” opposition in December and March, but it would be the fairest way of going about it without significantly complicating the relegation picture, the divvying up of European places and muddying the format for next season.

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:19:17
Another way forward: Given projections about the virus peaking in May or June, I am proposing an efficient though controversial idea to wrap up the season. Award Liverpool the Premier League title based on their immense lead.

Give Man City a Champions League spot based on winning the League Cup. In July, in lieu of regular preseason, finish the FA Cup with the two finalists getting the remaining Champions League places. Barring Tottenham, all the Champions League contenders are still in the FA Cup.

If Man City are finalists, the extra spot goes to the best losing semi-finalist. Also, set up a straight head-to-head playoff with the bottom three in the Premier League against the top three in the Championship, ranked from 18th through 3rd, so, for example, Bournemouth v Fulham, winner goes to the Premier League, loser to the Championship. Leave the rest of us as we are, divvying up the Europa League places among the best finishing FA Cup teams who aren't in the Champions League.

I know right, you all hate the Liverpool part but, from a football point of view, this to me seems the least extensive way to get some kind of resolution to the season.
Patrick McFarlane
2 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:51:01
It's either completed properly or it's scrapped entirely.

If we as paying customers accept whatever is handed down to us without regard to the fact that football is supposed to be a sporting contest, which has to have an outright winner even if that means using goal difference or head-to-head results but it cannot and should not be decided by what some administrators or TV moguls might regard as being pragmatic and fair, no matter how challenging the circumstances may be.

VAR has already ruined this season for many match going fans, handing a yet to be won title to a club that hasn't visited Goodison Park is for me a step too far.

Bill Gienapp
3 Posted 14/03/2020 at 01:11:29
They can give Liverpool the title... as long as they affix a big, fat ASTERISK to it.
Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 14/03/2020 at 01:20:59
Sorry, Patrick, but I’ve got to agree with Kieran on this one. The RS have won the league fair and square, and everything else that every team has accomplished during the season cannot simply be erased. Personally I do think the league will resume at some point, perhaps in six weeks or so, but if not I think the league should just be left as it is right now.

As for promotion and relegation, no team in the league is actually doomed at this point, and no team in the championship has actually earned promotion. So my best guess is that they would simply launch again in August with the teams positioned in the same league as they are now.

And Bill, you certainly won’t have to worry about the *. The red fans will never get to properly celebrate their title. No on field trophy presentation, no parade, no cheers. That * will be indelible. In everybody’s memory.

Patrick McFarlane
5 Posted 14/03/2020 at 01:29:25
Mike, I think you're being optimistic about the reds not being able to celebrate their hollow victory – they'll find a way of rubbing our noses in it.

I'm also very confident that they wouldn't accept Everton becoming champions in similar circumstances.

Derek Thomas
7 Posted 14/03/2020 at 05:13:25
I'm with Patrick @ 2; All or nothing, As we saw last season, despite what they think, 'nearly' winning it means nothing. Nor does could've, should've, or would've. They should win it, they've 'nearly' won it now - but they didn't then and they haven't yet.

Write it all off and re-do it in August, same teams, same fixture or new, I'm not bothered.

Also, If there are no Premier League 'winners' or relegated teams, I don't see how there can be a 'winner' and a 2nd place promoted from the Championship... and so on ad infinitum.

It's a dilemma. I can see the Premier League fudging the issue and coming up with a 'solution' that will upset many more than it pleases... but I'll risk pound each way that Liverpool name won't figure in the upset column.

Uefa need to be all over this before the money muscle of the Premier League gets in first with their decision, thus setting the precedent in favour of all the usual suspects, domestic and foreign.

Fat chance.

Mark Tanton
8 Posted 14/03/2020 at 05:51:40
The pandemic's affect on football is, for me, Liverpool's long delayed but deserved comeuppance for Hysel and its knock effect on our club. Sod 'em.
Alex Kociuba
9 Posted 14/03/2020 at 06:14:05
I feel sick to the stomach that people are suggesting we award them the title voluntarily and prematurely. It isn't morally righteous, pragmatic, sensible, wise - or however else you want to dress it up, its simply a pathetic suggestion.

The rules state the season must be concluded in full and only a change can be made to this if 16 teams agree to it. It was only about 10 days ago the spiteful reds were relishing winning the league at Goodison. If the season resumes and they win at after 38 games, then fair enough.

John Keating
10 Posted 14/03/2020 at 06:34:43
I agree with voiding the season entirely.
As nothing, promotion, relegation has been fully confirmed in any league, then everything is still, theoretically, up for grabs.

To promote and relegate teams based on today's standings would, quite rightly, cause mayhem and untold legal challenge.

Although most of us wouldn't know it, unless you supported the "unmentionables", the world does not revolve around one Club. As much as the media would like to think.

John Pierce
11 Posted 14/03/2020 at 06:47:51
It's not just our own domestic situation is it? If another country in Europe cannot complete their fixtures you'd have to suggest we all follow suit.

Each league supplies entrants to UEFA competitions. If there's no consistency with each leagues approach, then well what's the point?

Look, you either finish it or you don't. No half-way measures. If you don't finish it and it's not a mathematical certainty, then tough, you cannot award one team a title or relegate someone. I did read that potentially the season can be completed if 75% of the games were played according to the premier leagues own rules. However we are not quite there, I think that potentially why the premier league were trying to get this round in? But it's just a theory.

I say see ya next season, lads.

Darren Hind
12 Posted 14/03/2020 at 07:30:45
Sporting prizes should never be awarded based on the probables, the likelies and the perceived certainty.

Yes, Liverpool would almost certainly have won an uninterrupted league, but the key word here is 'almost'. They still have a few tricky fixtures (including one they would not have relished to the OL).

Sport is about upsets, jaw-dropping collapses. mind-blowing come-backs:

It's about Devon Lock inexplicably sprawling yards from the finish, as it's supporters had already lined up to be paid out.

It's about Red Rum coming from another county to collar the magnificent Crisp on the line - YouTube it if you haven't seen it.

It's about the marathon runner inexplicably emptying out in the closing stages after running his opponents ragged.

It's about the many boxers who have been beaten out of sight finding the late big punches that won them fights they were never in.

I was at Cheltenham yesterday and I witnessed a massive crowd gasp in utter disbelief as a horse with a lead every bit as commanding as the one Liverpool have crumpled on landing at the last.

I suspect The league will be handed over to Liverpool, but I will always remind every gloating gobshite that they will have been the only team in history to have won a title in an office as opposed to on the pitch. I will also point out that their mask of invincibility had been unceremoniously removed in recent weeks.

We can't stop them being "awarded" it, but we can stop them enjoying it.

Darren Hind
13 Posted 14/03/2020 at 07:41:47
Just seen Ian Fisher mention Esha Nesh on another thread.

I wish I'd have thought of that. Two words could have saved me typing half a dozen paragraphs.

Gary Willock
14 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:07:09
Imagine a marathon. Some guy goes off full pelt, building up a huge lead, but, after 20 miles, he's absolutely goosed. He's stumbling badly, with his mile times are horrendous in 4 out of the last 6 miles.

Would it be fair if the race was paused, he was given a chance to rest and recuperate so he could sprint again when it resumed?? Of course it wouldn't! And neither would handing the title to the Red shite.

Assuming this goes on for months then for me there's two choices:

1) Play the matches behind closed doors but streamed.

2) Call it void and just start again next season.

The first option would leave those at home with unfair disadvantages vs the opposing fixture, so would never be considered just (maybe for Liverpool who are far ahead, but who knows what would have happened without this false break!!?!). There is also, of course, a small chance that this could kill a player.

Put a ‘latest' deadline in for them to resume matches now so people know where they stand, if it resumes by then just accept it. If it doesn't, just void it from memory and move on.

A final option on that may be to give point head starts to everyone next year based on current placement. Not sure how to work that fairly, but plenty of mathematicians who could model a ‘proportional' system.

Rick Tarleton
15 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:11:24
I do agree Liverpool have won the League fair and square, but perhaps if they were denied the title they'd begin to understand how we felt thirty-five years ago when we were denied our chance to play in the European Cup through no fault of our own, but because of the behaviour of their fans.

Also Liverpool's winning the League is only one issue.European places? Promotion? Relegation? Play-offs? All these issues need to be sorted and so it is either complete the programme or abandon it.

Ray Roche
16 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:34:07

They've won the league VAR and square.

Bit different.

Mike Connolly
17 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:36:42
If the league is scrapped and no relegation or promotion. They reckon the teams who miss out on promotion will sue due to lost revenue. In that case, it could open a can of worms.

Would we be able to sue? We missed out on two European cups, potentially three, if we had won it in 85. Due to circumstances that we had no control of.

We have suffered big time, not just revenue but loss of top class players. We have never recovered, just winning one trophy since.

Ken Kneale
18 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:44:54
The only fair way for every club is to scrap the league and start afresh. To award titles, relegation and positional benefits on notional outcomes is not just in any sense for the majority of participants.
Dick Fearon
19 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:51:10
If the RS were denied their moment of glory can you imagine the decades of Whinging and Bitching we would have to put up with?

Er... better to give them the flaming thing.

Rob Halligan
20 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:53:01
Liverpool have nine games left, 27 points to play for.
Man City have ten games left, 30 points to play for.
Current points difference is 25.

Should Liverpool lose all their remaining games, and Man City win all their remaining games, then Man City would be league champions.

So whilst it's still mathematically possible for them to be caught, I don't see any logical reason why they "should just be awarded the Premier League trophy".

Did all the bookies pay out on Devon Loch before the end of the 1956 Grand National, when he was miles ahead only to fall 40 yards from the end? No! Was his name engraved on the Grand National trophy before he fell, No!

So why the fuck should the Red Shite be crowned Champions? Anything can happen in the remaining games.

Tim Welsh
21 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:57:20
For anyone who thinks that the title should be 'awarded' to the filth, then why not apply that to the 1966 FA Cup Final? We would have lost 2-0.

As some people remark on here, sport is littered with comebacks and disasters and it is an entertainment. The big issue is not whether the filth are denied or honoured, but it is that there are a number of clubs who could be seriously compromised by a lazy decision.

That notwithstanding the league is mathematically corrupt anyway – VAR has seen to that – and we are told that Brighton are the greatest beneficiaries of VAR decisions in their favour, though the filth can't be far behind, with Wolves being the team to suffer most. So, it would be only fair to scrap a truely flawed season.

Nevertheless, unless a lot of noise is made that causes a lot of money to be lost, the whole situation will be repeated over and over again. The only way to stop VAR is to stop watching and make the advertising revenue plummet. I have. I listen to Darren and Snods when I cannot physically watch Everton and have completely boycotted any live coverage provided by subscription services. I don't even watch Match of the Day.

As for the filth's current position, one can imagine the conversation of a possible Faustian pact...

'Can we be 25 points clear in March, master?'
'Can we be 25 points clear in April, master?'
'Can we be 25 points clear in May, master?'
'Yes,... Oh! Have you ever read the Monkey's Paw by W W Jacobs?'

And let's see if their after-match drink created by the American swimmer can get them out of this one?

Mike Connolly
22 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:01:21
Well put, Rob, I never thought of it that way.
Rob Halligan
23 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:07:48
As a mate of mine always says to any RS fans, who ask him "How many European cups have you won"? He always replies "Five"

When they ask him when, he says "1986, 87, 88, 89 and 1990." "Oh no, we never," he says, "because you got us banned from Europe."

So should the RS be awarded the Premier League without actually winning it, then we should be awarded five European cups even though we never actually won it.

Steve Guy
24 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:08:39
The decision finally reached will be in the interest of no-one, other than the monied “elite” clubs. Self-protection of their status will be paramount both on a domestic and a European level. So expect Liverpool to be awarded a title on a shortened season and a fiddle to give others like Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City the European places (average placing over last five years, anyone?). The Premier League can afford compensation claims from aggrieved clubs losing out.
Terry Downes
25 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:14:35
Karen Brady for Prime Minister is what I say. She says the Premier League should be declared void if it can't be finished within a certain time... that'll do for me! 🤣
Mike Hughes
26 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:15:59
Anyone who watched the Cheltenham Festival knows it ain't over until it's over.

Yesterday, Goshen – the favourite – was streets ahead coming to the last hurdle. The horse didn't fall but stumbled, unseating the jockey. It was actually heart-breaking to watch – especially for jockey Gary Moore and the connections.

But is that not the nature and essence of sport?

There is a finishing line that has to be crossed. No ifs or buts.

Alan McGuffog
27 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:17:48
One thing you can take to the bank. The BBC, the EPL, Sky, BT, the Masons, Opus Dei and every other interested party, right now will be sweating the grey stuff to find a way of making them Champions, should the Premier League be abandoned.

It'll happen. But, as someone said before, there should be a bloody big asterisk and refer to them as 'Champions elect' or something.

Rob Halligan
28 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:21:07
Give them one of those cardboard cut-out ones covered in tinfoil. I'm sure there must be thousands of them at Anfield every home game anyway.
Brian Williams
29 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:25:16
Dick #19,

If the RS were denied their moment of glory, can you imagine the decades of Whinging and Bitching we would have to put up with?

Yes, Dick, I, and every other Blue, can imagine, and to me, their whingeing would sound like Beethoven's finest and sweetest symphony. One I'd never tire of listening to and each and, every time I heard one of them whingeing, it would bring a smile to my face and joy to my bitter Blue heart!

Dave Williams
30 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:27:51
It is wrong for any group of people to sit in judgement and decide which teams deserve to be Champions, deserve Champions League football etc. A “pools panel” allowed to award points for postponed games would then be on the horizon. Relegation would be wrong where one team may have faced stiffer opposition and, just because the RS are clearly going to win, it is no reason for people to sit in judgement and award it to them.

Scrap the season and start again “as we were” – but no need to adopt the same fixture list.

James Hughes
32 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:30:19
There is a minimum six weeks needed to play all remaining games, excluding cup games. Until those games can be played, give the RS nothing.

There is an article with a similar name in The Echo, there are some lovely comments from our neighbours, they show their true colours as usual. So, yes, I am with Rob and a few others... fuck the RS.

Darren #13,

I had forgotten about Esha Ness. I had money on that nag (only a couple of quid) – yet another time the bookies didn't pay me. :(

Rick Tarleton
34 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:31:05
Ray Roche, I'm not saying they don't deserve the Premier League, they obviously do. But I am saying that, in sport and in life, deserving and getting may be very different because of events out of your control.

We didn't deserve to lose out because of Heysel, but lose out we did. Liverpool do not deserve to lose the title, but objectively they may well do so.

The season is not only about the title and too many issues are unresolved for the season to stand, unless it can be completed.

Brian Hennessy
36 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:35:07
Saw this yesterday and it brought a smile to my face.

"Villa 5 - Liverpool 0

Watford 3 - Liverpool 0"

Chelsea 2 - Liverpool 0

Atletico 4 - Liverpool 2

"League Title"
Covid 19 - Liverpool 18

Tony Everan
37 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:35:08
If we are 2 months away from the peak now and everything's cancelled it is reasonable to assume it will be necessary to have 2 months after the peak to get back to where we are now.

That takes us to the end of July before it is safe to resume.

This season is over, wiped out and will not recommence. The sooner the football authorities accept this and face the dire financial consequences and fans' outcry head-on, the better.

It will be a nightmare in every respect but they have no choice. They will have to find the best equitable solution after scrapping this season and starting the 20/21 season afresh.

John Keating
38 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:36:22
I don't understand this “they have won it fair and square” argument
They have NOT won anything yet fairly or squarely. Not until it's mathematically impossible to lose it.

If they award them the Premier League, it has to follow that they relegate the present bottom 3 teams. Look at the table, might be those 3 but it's still a scrap.

Similar decisions will have to made in every league.

Sorry but we have all been watching all sports, particularly footy, far too long to say it's over, until the final whistle goes.

Darren Hind
39 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:43:42
What a pity Jim Bowen isn't still alive:

"Come and have a look at what you coulda won..."

Ray Robinson
40 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:45:02
It does seem logical that if you cannot adjudicate on the relegation spots, the whole league needs to be cancelled and declared nul and void.

However grossly unfair it would be, I wouldn't put it beyond the bounds of possibility for just two more matches to be played in order to get Liverpool mathematically past the finishing post.

Darren Hind
41 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:46:33
Brian @29

Don't. Just the thought of it has me pissing myself.

Phil Williams
42 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:02:57
How about a 76-match season finishing May 2021???

Things should be won on merit, and this would allow this to happen. It would mean everything is objective and not just decided arbitrarily whilst rewarding teams in all divisions for what they have done so far this season by carrying it forward.

The FA Cup could be finished, started and finished again, giving winners for each year. Scrap the League Cup and finish the Champions League and Europa League.

Makes sense but won't happen because of the money men.

Kevin Dyer
43 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:05:06
Fucking ridiculous opinions itt. Convoluted logic people are using to convince themselves that LFC are not going to win the league. This is football, not boxing or horse racing. They are 25 fucking points clear. If anyone thought that gap was bridgeable then Guardiola would've signed a centre half in January; he knew it was done by then, you lot should fucking accept it too FFS. Yeah, their form has slumped but would no doubt have gotten a major boost at Goodison Park.

Re: Darren's boxing analogy. I've never seen a fighter with an uncatchable lead with 2 rounds to go lose on points. Fighters can get KO'd; this is not a knockout competition.

Bringing up Heysel is unworthy. There were two sets of fans there btw.

The lockdown measures are not likely to reduce the number of people contracting Covid-19, just spread it out to alleviate pressure in the health system etc. If, by mid-June the number of new cases are declining then resume the season, play twice per week if necessary. No Euro 2020. Push back the start date for next season, cancel all international friendlies and the league cup. No winter break. Insert more 2-game weeks where possible. It is doable.

Failing that, resume this season next March. Voiding the season is idiocy tbh.

James Marshall
44 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:22:01
I reckon they'll scrap the cup competitions and finish the Premier League in the summer. The Euros will be played next year and next season might have to start a bit later than usual. Liverpool will still win the league.

I'd be staggered if they void the season – the legal implications alone make it pretty much impossible.

Brian Williams
45 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:26:36
Tut tut tut.
Joe McMahon
46 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:27:38
Patrick@ 5 I don't think Everton winning the title will be on the agenda for many years.

As for the reds, I'm not happy about it but they are runaway Champions. With or without VAR, they are still Champions, hard to beat and uncatchable. It's hard for us to take as we still have to play expensive flops and Tom Davies.

Michael Lynch
47 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:28:36
It’s been a dreadful season, marred by VAR and the most uncompetitive title chase of all time. End it now. Do the shite deserve the title? Of course they do. Have they won it? No. Tough shit.
Eric Paul
48 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:31:37
If you resume the Premier League in June, Kevin, what about players who are out of contract on June 1st? And what about sports that take place in the summer months losing matchday revenue to football?
Winston Williamson
49 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:39:21
There are bigger things in life than football. I think we'd all be in agreement with that, as would any right-thinking football fan of any club, regardless of any disappointments they may endure.

In the interests of fairness, this season should be cancelled, null and void. Crowning anyone champions or relegating anyone at this stage, would be hollow. No-one has mathematically won anything, nor been relegated at this stage.

Liverpool in all likelihood would win it, but they haven't yet, and you can guarantee if it was Man Utd, Everton or just about anyone else, in their position, Liverpool fans would be screaming for a null and void season! Null and void is fair. It also is procedurally easier to administer.

However, money talks, and we as fans*, are skint!

* All football fans

Tony Everan
51 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:48:57
The more I think about this, I am thinking that the Premier League will find a way to complete. However contentious.

Possibly a match every 2 days format in July behind closed doors to season completion, using squad players rotated. Any expiring contracts will be extended for a month or that player shamed and replaced by an U23 lad.

Financial desperation will force it to the limit of legal medical advice.

Sean Kelly
52 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:00:41
Darren, you forgot to mention Red Shite vs Chelsea and slippery Gerard... ha ha, still laughing me gut out at that one! 😂😂😂
John G Davies
53 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:08:19
To all Merseysiders advocating they are awarded the title:

"Get a grip!"

Steve Guy
55 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:17:06
Per my earlier post, Sky momentum is for them to be declared champions. Some RS tosser (“Anfield Wrap”) on Sky. Apparently unarguably the rightful “Champions”. Gutted they won't be able to celebrate with a bus parade etc Etc etc. priceless.
Martin Mason
56 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:30:30
Liverpool are deserved champions but their championship is relatively trivial compared with all other leagues, cups and Europe places that aren't resolved so clearly. They shouldn't be awarded the title but the whole shebang should be cancelled and rerun next season.

Either that or they play over summer with perhaps game duration reduced and several games in a day. Anything but showing such blatant favouritism to one team.

Ray Roche
57 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:35:17
Just a thought to ponder on, remember when we finished fourth under Moyes, Liverpool finished fifth and, under the Uefa rules, did not qualify for the Champions League.

They screamed and stamped their little feet until the rules were changed to allow them in, but not before they claimed that we should be replaced by them, because they were reigning Champions. The uproar was astonishing. They MUST be allowed to participate.

We all know what happened next, we get Villarreal, they get New Saints. We get Collina they get a rule change after teams had qualified.

Give them the title? Get to fuck.

Leighton Cooper
58 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:38:08
Whether they deserve the league title or not, you can't have one rule for one and another for the rest.

I'd like to think Man Utd would kick up a fuss if they miss out on Champions League by 3 points with 9 games left. Wolves and Sheffield Utd's potentially only chance of getting into the Champions League, or the later even into the Europa League. This knock-on effect affects all leagues below. The whole season just needs to be declared null and void across the leagues.

Liverpool fans will just have to take it on the chin like we had to when "unforeseen circumstances" prevented the English champions playing in Europe in the 80s. It's taken 35 years for that swings and roundabouts to finally turn.

John G Davies
59 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:40:19
Bravo Ray, bravo.
Brian Williams
61 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:54:27
Fantasy live forum on Monday evening anyone? Everton two up after one and a half minutes? The shite reduced to nine men after three?
Rob Halligan
62 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:15:44
Still looking for a solution on whether the Red Shite should be Champions or not, then how about this.

Man City are the only team who can still mathematically catch them, so have a one-off game between Man City and Liverpool, who still have to play each other anyway.

If Liverpool win, they can't be caught if the season ran its full course, so they would then be Champions with eight games to play. If Man City win, then scrap the season, make it null and void.

Brent Stephens
63 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:20:28
In terms of the decision about what happens to this season, would that be a decision for the Premier League? And if so, presumably their General Committee of the 20 members, one voting member per club, not the three-person Board?

If so, would the General Committee be looking for the least-worst decision, partly in terms of various notions of fairness, more so in terms of logistics and finances etc, but mainly in terms of the legal implications?

If the decision is to be made by the General Committee, and largely on the basis of the legal implications, then would they want to avoid the variety of proposals we're already reading about which could result in major costly, lengthy and acrimonious litigation; and instead agree to declare the season over with the current standings regarded as final, with Liverpool being awarded the title (together with the other outcomes proposed in The Telegraph article re bottom three of the Premier League, top two of the Championship etc)?

I've not yet found the voting rules for the Premier League General Committee but I would imagine it would not require a unanimous vote. The Premier League clubs would presumably vote in terms of their individual best interests, and so not have an issue with Liverpool being awarded the title?

All of that is pure conjecture and question-marked. I might be wrong with the very first assumption about the decision-making forum and processes. But the vested interests of each Premier League club suggest this outcome to me.

Jay Woods
64 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:23:56
If Liverpool are awarded this title this year after the campaign is suspended, I personally will refuse to recognise it. Unless, of course, we are retrospectively awarded the European Cup in 1986 and 1988.
Stan Schofield
65 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:30:08
First of all, Liverpool have not won the league, and it would be entirely inappropriate to be awarding them the title, regardless of any views about the odds of them actually winning it. Either continue the Premier League games to their conclusion, or declare the season void.

Secondly, it's entirely appropriate for sensible precautions to be taken, like the current suspension of games, properly erring on the side of safety. However, perspective is also needed, and the media and some politicians are irresponsible in promoting excess fear and some panic amongst sections of the population.

There are of course worst-case imagined scenarios, as in all hazards that can affect large numbers of people, but the media and those in authority do need to get a firmer grip on matters.

Barry McNally
66 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:32:00
Jay 64, we would have won it in 87 too as holders.
Brent Stephens
67 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:46:19
PS, the Premier League rules allow for the award of an inflatable plastic trophy (with or without arms and legs).
Paul Johnson
68 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:46:50
They haven't won anything yet so you cannot give them the trophy. If it was mathematically impossible then fair enough. However it is still mathematically possible for them to lose it so it ain't over till the fat lady sings. I personally wouldn't give them the steam off my shit.

A gang of self-righteous bastards who have never took ownership for the banning of English clubs and the unfortunate death of innocent Italian football fans. They have infiltrated every corner of football to ensure that only positives are mentioned concerning the fuckers.

Let them suffer like we did 34 years ago. Karma.

Brian Harrison
69 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:47:39
I am sure that FIFA and UEFA will be eager to start up their competitions as early as possible, as they will not want their competitions next year being affected. I am sure Sky will have some input into the discussions with the Premier League on how to resolve finishing this season's competitions as early as possible.

I think the Premier League, as well as some other sports, acted far more appropriately than our government or its medical advisers who seem completely out of step to the response from other European countries and their medical advisers. Seems that the American sports authorities have also taken action even though Coco the Clown thinks the virus is under control. So here we have horse racing and rugby league going ahead, yet pretty much all other sports have been cancelled.

We were told by this country's Chief Medical Officer that we are about a month away from the peak of this virus, so it seems reasonable to suggest that players and managers will still catch the virus until late March or early April. So it may well be May before the sporting calendar can be resurrected, and given that it is estimated that it will take at least 6 weeks to complete the domestic competitions, even with mid-week games.

Paul Birmingham
70 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:55:14
If the fixture programme as issued last summer can't be honoured then the season should be declared null and void due to coronavirus.

There can be no empathy for assigning the winner of the Premier League, as the programme can't be completed.

Tough fortune for our neighbours, and arguably an Act of God, and in context all the clubs looking to avoid relegation and potential get into Europe, mixed ironies, but common sense must prevail by the football authorities and government.

It seems by the media that this pandemic is worsening by the day in the UK and Central Europe.

Postpone the Premier League and Euro 2020 and the Olympics and when the health and welfare of the world is safe, we can start playing football again.

Brent Stephens
71 Posted 14/03/2020 at 12:58:18
Brian #69,

"I am sure that Fifa and Uefa will be eager to start up their competitions as early as possible, as they will not want their competitions next year being affected. I am sure Sky will have some input into the discussions with the Premier League on how to resolve finishing this season's competitions as early as possible".

Further reasons I suspect the Premier League decision might be as in #63 - i.e. the influence of, and pressure from, these other interested parties for an Occam's Razor.

Jay Wood

72 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:07:24
It's astonishing to me just how many are viewing this enormous crisis and the impact on sport through a single prism:

Should the Premier League title be awarded to Liverpool, even if the season is not completed?

In the top four tiers of English football alone there are 92 clubs. Yesterday's suspension of all leagues and cup competitions will have far, far greater impact on the overwhelming majority of those clubs.

Their very survival could be at stake.

The Premier League clubs are largely cushioned from the financial impact of Covid-19, but from the Championship down, the loss of gate revenue is a big deal. Finishing positions and prize money is a big deal.

Clubs budget for an entire year depending on their finances at the conclusion of the season in May. Many players are deliberately on contracts that expire before June.

The summer months are anticipated as 'down time' for clubs. The likes of west Ham and Spurs are already expressing concern that should the Premier League season be extended into those months, it puts into jeopardy their ability to stage home games as summer events are already scheduled for their stadiums.

Throw into the mix how fixtures for the next 3 seasons have already been juggled to accommodate the Qatar World Cup in the winter of 2022 and the conundrum is made even more difficult.

There is very little wriggle room in which to complete fixtures.

The merits and demerits of whether Liverpool should be awarded the Premier League bauble or not pales into insignificance to the uncertain future many clubs are now facing, never mind the impact on wider society.

You simply cannot award trophies based on probability. You cannot extend the suspension of this season's fixtures indefinitely.

And you most definitely cannot establish a rule for one over and above the other 91 top tier clubs.

Brent Stephens
73 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:10:31
Jay #72 "The likes of West Ham and Spurs are already expressing concern that should the Premier League season be extended into those months, it puts into jeopardy their ability to stage home games as summer events are already scheduled for their stadiums".

Yes, a further reason I can see Premier League clubs voting in their own interests to not extend the season. The more I think about this, the more I'm anticipating that the other lot will be awarded the title.

Terry Aylward
74 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:12:37
Had titles been awarded when teams appeared to be in unassailable positions then AC Milan would have been Champions League winners in 2005 after being 3-0 up at half-time.

Also, you can bet your life that, had this situation occurred when Leicester City were on the point of winning the title, the season would have been declared void without a thought. But, because it's the Red Shite, the powers that be will be jumping through hoops to award them the title.

Patrick McFarlane
75 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:13:19
Carlo speaking to the Italian media seems to have the correct take on the current situation.

"The Premier League did stop eventually, and it’s about time. It was the right decision faced with the scenario. We couldn’t continue. Health is the most important thing for everyone: teams, fans, media, everyone who works in football.

"In theory, we ought to get back to work on March 22, but if the situation in general should worsen, how can we even think of that? If the Coronavirus is still spreading rapidly, football cannot resume.

"Football counts for zero right now and it almost irritates me to be talking about it, faced with the tragedy that is unfolding in front of our eyes. This is a pandemic, a situation none of us had experienced before now.

"The number of deaths in Italy (1,266) is terrible. In one day, another 250 people died. The priority is to concentrate on this fight, the rest doesn’t matter."

All of the talking-heads and TV news outlets in the UK should refrain from specualting about what should happen with football because in a short while we could be facing the same issues that Italy currently faces.

Peter Neilson
76 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:14:46
There's still nearly a quarter of the season to go. While extremely unlikely they wouldn't be Champions, the games have to be played or the season is void. What's next, stopping the game at 65 minutes because you're 4-0 down!
Derek Thomas
77 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:15:25
Jay @ 72; you're quite right, of course, and that's even before we deal with the sickness aspect for the public.

But all we can do is kick up a fuss here to help your one rule for the rs and sod the other divisions not happen.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:19:32
The heading of this article is about right. I hope they are going to be working hard on their individual fitness programs. They all can well afford a Peloton bike and video link-up.
Jay Wood

79 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:19:49
I saw Carlo's comments in the Echo also Patrick.


Without naming him, Carlo said the player who had been running a high temperature that triggered Everton's self-imposed lockdown yesterday, that his temperature had now fallen.

I also liked what Carlo said about Boris Johnson:

'...after watching the message from the Conservative party leader, Ancelotti was less than convinced.

The Everton boss added: "Italy were forced to understand that it was time to stop being superficial, they had to respect the orders and stay home, to respect themselves and others during this war.

"I watched Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech on TV and it seems to be someone here hasn’t realised the gravity of the situation. Life continues as normal, to a certain degree."

Ian Jones
80 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:37:12
Brian @61,

Re your 'Fantasy live forum on Monday evening anyone? Everton two up after one and a half minutes? The shite reduced to nine men after three?'

So I go with the next part... Liverpool equalise with a minute to go then get a penalty in the 5th minute of injury time... do they score or does Pickford save it?

Ken Kneale
81 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:47:14

Your comment: "And you most definitely cannot establish a rule for one over and above the other 91 top tier clubs."

You are absolutely correct. I suspect the challenge will be ensuring those in decision-making roles see it that way. Any views on a call to arms?

Brian Williams
82 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:50:48
Ian #80.

It's fantasy, mate; he saves it with his arse. 😂😂

Kevin Dyer
83 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:58:47
Eric #48, Valid points.

If I recall correctly, contracts run until June 30; no doubt they'd be extended until the season is completed, probably with a bonus attached.

Re: the effect on other sports going up against football over the summer, I've no idea tbh. Just thinking of this from a football perspective.

If the season is declared finished now and Liverpool are Champions, I have no problem with that. They are, despite some desperate arguments, going to win it, Pep had clearly accepted this 2 months ago. It'd be laughably unjust to scrap the season and say "hard lines".

Like it or not, they've been the best, most consistent team by an absolute mile and played good footie, to boot. Good luck to them.

I have no reservations saying this. I'll be Everton until I die and they are our fiercest rivals. I enjoyed Atletico's win as much as anyone but do I hate them and their fans? Don't be daft.

Far more complex is the situation with teams currently in the relation zone and of course the various promotion/relegation spots throughout the leagues.

John McFarlane Snr
84 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:00:46
Hi John, [Patrick 75],

I have always maintained that there are more important things in life than football, and I'm almost sure that the majority of ToffeeWeb members will vouch for that, you and I certainly come under that category. I make no secret of the fact that, had the Government not stepped in, I would probably have attended the game on Monday. Thankfully I was relieved of making that decision.

My view, like yours, is that the season should run to its natural end, but I fear that, if it isn't allowed to, Liverpool will be awarded the title. I don't regard myself as a 'Bitter Blue' but I do resent the fact that they denied us the opportunity to test ourselves in Europe, and If my memory serves me right, they had their ban reduced.

I hold the view, rightly or wrongly, that the Premier League consists of Liverpool, Manchester United and eighteen others, there have been a few who have had their 'fifteen minutes of fame', including Arsenal and Manchester City. but Liverpool and Manchester United are firmly in the driving seat. The TV and media Moguls will see to that; I'll just sit back and await developments.

Ian Jones
85 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:02:01
Brian, of course... meanwhile, the ball rebounds off Pickford straight to Calvert-Lewin, who slots it home. The end.
Anthony Jones
86 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:40:21
As funny as it would be to see them lose it, The Shite have to be given the league title.

The games will have to run into the summer. The consequences of messing with league are too broad and complex.

Void European competitions, but not domestic leagues unless there is simply no option.

John G Davies
87 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:44:22

We have got Evertonians making a case to give Liverpool the trophy for a competition they haven't won?

Eric Paul
88 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:53:52
If they are given the title, does that mean Aston Villa go down with a game in hand and Bournemouth on goal difference with 9 and 10 games to play?
Ken Kneale
89 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:59:19
Kevin – your final paragraph is why the whole thing needs to be scrapped and start afresh next year as if this did not happen. To hand out the title in isolation whilst cutting the other teams loose is sheer injustice.

John Boon
90 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:02:52
I can't believe all those who want to give Liverpool the Premier League. My son had the best idea I have heard of:

Give them a special award for "Trying Hard" or such like. Similar to the "Great Effort" award given to the kid in the class who did his best but still came bottom. They could even send a copy to Norway.

I was born and bred in Liverpool but now live in Canada. I love Everton as much as I despise the RS. I would never want to give them my support in any way, shape or form. Yes, I am biased and have been for 80 years and I also delight in it.

ps: My prejudice is only directed to football. Just ask some of the Reds in my family.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
91 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:04:26
No football to 4th April. People self-isolating.

How does this all relate to players training? How many clubs have suspended training (we have and do we still?) on the basis of less close contact?

Move to 30th March, a decision has to be made. "Do we start matches again on Saturday?" "Well," comes the reply "actually no, there are still a pile of clubs with infected players" Cue a further postponement until 25th April.

At which point most players will have had 6+ weeks without training. Think what a pre-season is all about. Getting players fit to play a high intensity (okay, there are some we would question the word 'intensity' applies to them) sport will mean that, firstly, there will be a lot of muscle strains and tears and, secondly, games played at a less frenetic pace. So 20th April could be the date of "return to training" with games not really starting until 9th May to give players and clubs the 2-3 weeks needed to get back up to full fitness.

And these only just (match) fit again players now required to play 2 games a week over the next few weeks, including some playing 3 because of Cup commitments. Quick break on the beach and back again 3 weeks later.

Yeah. Right.

Jay Wood

92 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:10:17
Kevin @ 83.

Wot Ken @ 89 said.

You get zero argument from me that Liverpool have been head and shoulders above everyone else in the Premier League season to date.

You will get zero argument from me that, should fixtures resume, they will comfortably garnish enough points to secure the title.

But it is an indisputable fact that mathematically, at this time, no team has secured a title, a European place via their league position, guaranteed promotion for next season, or is condemned to relegation.

Should it come to it and league fixtures across all major leagues cannot be completed, you simply cannot establish a rule of one that does not apply, in the English leagues, to all other 91 clubs as you and others propose.

Michael O'Malley
93 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:17:54
The RS might have already won the Premier League if crying arse Klopp hadn't moaned about winter break. They have been pretty average since the break.
Michael O'Malley
94 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:19:47
Ray @57 Magnificently put!
Jack Convery
95 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:34:55
Can you hear the fat lady sing? No, neither can I. No-one should be awarded anything; this season is void. If any competition is declared void, nobody wins anything. It never happened. Restart everything with the same teams in the Leagues they are in now. Restart the Champions League with the same teams and the Europa League too. The FA Cup should start anew.

To do otherwise would be very unfair. To give Liverpool the title because they are 1st would surely mean the current bottom 3 would have to be relegated, as giving the RS the title means the current position is what counts. Leeds would go ape, and quite rightly, if they were denied promotion, whilst the RS were crowned Champions – how hypocritical would that be?

Share the Premier League positional money out evenly amongst the 20 or put it in trust and add it to the money for next season. Though a better and more community spirited thing would be to use it to share amongst the lower league teams, based on estimated income for the home games that have been cancelled - Hell will freeze over before that happens but it would be a great gesture and they can easily afford it.

Just a thought: what would happen if Liverpool were 2nd by a point to Man City – would the Reds say "Give it to City"? We all know the answer to that one, don't we.

Eric Paul
96 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:04:34
Sorry, I thought it was the first Kevin.
Ed Prytherch
97 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:05:59
Whatever decision is made, it should not be based upon the fear of being sued - FOBS. If Leeds and West Brom sue when the season is declared null and void then let the courts determine the compensation, if any.
Ryan Holroyd
98 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:17:20
It would just be 'Everton' if the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock gets cancelled due to the coronavirus.
Jim Burns
99 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:18:23
Kevin, you make a good case. But why shouldn't Heysel be brought up in the current context?

Heysel, and the scenario Ray @ 57 rightly reminds us of, may not have been on the scale of the present catastrophe, but they and their repercussions were just as unprecedented.

There were 2 sets of fans at Heysel that day, as you say, but only one lot got us banned.

As many on here have said, how can any one club be awarded a title, trophy, promotion or relegation to the exclusion of every other outcome in the football pyramid? ... Oh wait, it's Liverpool.

To be honest, I'm astonished any Blue would advocate that.

Shit happens – fuck 'em.

Gavin McGarvey
100 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:34:02
I can't imagine that Liverpool will be awarded the Premier League title; they will have to win it. The same goes for relegation.

I think there is a good chance of the season being cancelled. Obviously, that's cruel for Liverpool, but I don't see what can be done about it. Some things are more important than football.

The only way I can see them winning the league atm is if the authorities start playing games behind closed doors, but that's looking unlikely.

Michael Lynch
101 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:53:58
Having heard a few reports from doctors in the NHS, including an Italian I know who has family in Milan, there is zero chance of football resuming.

We are at the beginning of the beginning of this, it seems. It's going to get very tough and we need to support our front line doctors and nurses by taking our responsibility very seriously. I'm not even sure if next season will start in time, to be honest.

Look there's precedent for this – football was suspended in 1939 and didn't start again til 1945.

Alan J Thompson
102 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:57:51
Should it not be possible to complete the season or play any more of this season's games at all, would it be fair or right to relegate those clubs currently in the bottom three positions with the financial complications that would ensue?

If you don't believe it would be, then you cannot appoint a Champion for the same reason. Similarly, would the lost income affect some clubs under FFP rules and should they, similarly, be abandoned.

Who did that bloke Solomon support?

Darren Hind
103 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:00:28
Kevin Dyer,

You seem pretty keen to award Liverpool a title they have not won. You did make me laugh when you labeled other posts as "fucking ridiculous". Especially as it's clear you do not understand the point.

It doesn't matter what other sport people use to demonstrate that anything is possible. Spectacular reversals, comebacks and collapses happen in any sport. That is the very essence of sport. It's the reason why the trophies are not presented until it is mathematically impossible for a lead to be overturned.

Talk to a Red Sox fan about 2011. Or maybe a Madrid fan about the time the bookies paid out five weeks early because their lead was supposedly unassailable, only or them to lose seven out of the last eight matches (even with players like Figo and Zindane). And they didn't just get pipped by one team; they finished 4th.

I'm aware that a Liverpool collapse would be up there with the most spectacular of cave-ins in the history of sport – but nobody has the right to say they wouldn't have buckled. No matter how slim the chance.

You may want to hand Liverpool the title if the Premier League is cut short, but you will be in a minority. At the risk of upsetting you again by using another sport as an example... Most people want to see the checkered flag waved before declaring a race over.

Paul Jones
104 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:01:16
Alan – based on his most famous pronouncement, I imagine Solomon was a Blades fan.
Alan J Thompson
105 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:04:10
Paul (#104); Ole!
Gordon Crawford
106 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:23:00
The lot across the park should not be given the Premier League title unless they are mathematically too far ahead. Man City are still in the race, even though it would take a miracle for them to win it.

And this isn't because I'm blue to the core. And it should be the same with relegation. This applies to all leagues and teams around the world who are affected by this virus.

Scrap the season and start again in August or whenever. Also, their record recently shows that they are starting to feel the pressure: won 1; lost 3.

John Raftery
107 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:23:22
An option might be for European countries to complete their current domestic seasons in the late summer or early autumn. Following a short break for the completion of European and domestic cup competitions, they could start the new Premier League season in November, to run until early June 2021. There would be no international weekends. The Euros could them be held from mid-June to mid-July 2021. All this assumes the peak of virus cases is reached in the early summer 2020.

The football authorities will at some point also need to have regard to the need to schedule domestic football around the next World Cup to be held in November & December 2022, not just the tournament itself but also the qualifying stages across the globe. To think it is only a few days since some were worried about Richarlison playing in the Olympics.

John Pierce
108 Posted 14/03/2020 at 17:46:18
I see Klopp is already out there with a statement of people first blah but subtly saying the authorities should exercise sound and moral judgement... over the suspension of the Premier League.

Lobbying away in the face of human distress.

Mike Hughes
109 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:00:16
What have the RS got to moan about? If the season is null and void, their losses in the FA Cup as well as Champions League are null and void as well. So they get another chance at those competitions. They gain more than they lose. (There's just no pleasing some people.)

Suck it up. Get used to it. This season is over. You won exactly the same as The Mighty Blues did. Bugger all.

Mike Gaynes
110 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:08:43
I'm loving this debate. Great stuff.
Rob Halligan
111 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:14:42
Mike, #109, does that also mean we never got beat by their snidey kids?
Mike Hughes
112 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:17:27
Rob – that didn't happen. Forget about it. This season is a ghost season that just doesn't count or matter.
Rob Halligan
113 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:19:36
Phew, thanks Mike. It was all a terrible nightmare after all!
Paul Hewitt
114 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:32:03
Ryan @98. With the expected financial crash that is about to happen, I doubt the stadium will start anytime soon. No bank will lend us £500 million in the current climate.
John Pierce
115 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:42:25
In all for starting again as long as we don't have to start with Marco and Steve Ferns defending the fella. I couldn't go through it all again... it would be too much.
Colin Glassar
116 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:51:16
Take care everyone. Don’t panic buy. Don’t go out unless necessary. No hand shaking, kissing or nose touching. And definitely, no matter what happens, not one jot, iota, zero, zilch sympathy for our ‘orrible neighbours and their “ghost title”. It doesn’t count, and never will, if they are “awarded” it now.

They can stuff their Steau Bucharest flag where the sun don’t shine.

John G Davies
117 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:57:31
If the season is null and void, Colin, one of the kids in the Gwladys Street should make and display a Covid-19 flag. To be displayed prominently in derby games.
Graham Hammond
118 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:58:09
Will the bookies be paying out on a Red Shite title win? I need the grand I stood to pick up on them winning it to pay bills even if I did NOT want it to happen!
John G Davies
119 Posted 14/03/2020 at 18:59:05
Hope your bet goes down, Graham.
Andrew Dempsey
120 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:00:23
It's far more powerful and subtle, and fucks the RS up far more to award them the title than to strip them of it and declare the season null and void.

Just imagine the ire and the sense of outrage and victimhood they will have if you stop them winning the title when they're 25 points clear, needing less than a handful of victories. I know (and I understand) that the knee-jerk and emotional response to this is ‘Fuck ‘em', and believe me, I feel the same way.

But, doing this could really come back to bite us and the rest of the league on the arse. The determination for them to win it whenever next season starts will be at insane levels, and we could see a very unwelcome era of domination emerge,

Give them the title now, say ‘Well done'. Don't rub it in any further. We don't need to say anything. They'll always know in the back of their minds that they didn't actually win it, and everyone else knows this as well. It's perfect.

It could fuck them up psychologically in a way that we can't even envisage right now, in the heat of the moment, but, it could be the trigger that stops them from getting anywhere near the title for another 30 years.

[Just think about it for a minute...]

John G Davies
121 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:04:46
I have thought about it for a minute, Andrew...

It didn't work.

Colin Glassar
122 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:07:56
Same here, John. It's a big Nah from me.

ps: I'd be happy to contribute towards that flag.

Stan Schofield
123 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:13:25
Andrew @120: That is an interesting thought, one which had occurred to me as well.

But no, the proper course of action is to declare the season void in the absence of completing all the games.

Tony Everan
125 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:22:52
If a 2-mile horse race is abandoned after 1 mile and 4 furlogs, the race doesn't get settled. It gets scratched like it didn't happen. Same goes for the Premier League, this season will be wiped from the history books and marked as abandoned. It's tough.

Don't underestimate the rampant fervour to finish it from the bean counters though. They'll likely find a spurious way. They will blindfold themselves to the risks to make sure the money comes in without legal restraints.

Dave Abrahams
126 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:24:14
If Liverpool are awarded the title without the season resuming, will the death toll be less?

If the season is declared null and void, will the death toll be less?

I'm sure all of us are more concerned about how many lives can be saved in the next few weeks and months, and that is the priority.

Roger Helm
127 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:25:28
The authorities can't just void the season. What about all the clubs just about to gain promotion in the different leagues? What about European places next season?

Give Liverpool a form of the title – elect, with an asterisk etc, - something they will never want to brag about. Promote the top two from the lower leagues and play with a bigger Premier League for the next season or two.

No solution is going to make everyone (or even anyone) happy, but for sure Liverpool should never be awarded a “normal” title without actually crossing the finish line.

Chris Leyland
128 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:27:38
Dave 126 - well said. Football isn’t going to seem that important in the next 4-6 months. There are far bigger things at stake.
Mike Gaynes
129 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:34:52
Roger #127, the thing is that there are no foregone conclusions in any of the European leagues (except Liverpool) -- nobody is yet doomed to relegation or certain to be promoted.

Some clubs will be disappointed and others relieved if the season is voided, but practically speaking, nobody will be able to claim they were truly screwed over because so much of the season still remained. So, from that perspective, it's not an impractical solution.

European places would be another question altogether. I don't know how they resolve that one.

Phil Greenough
130 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:34:53
If the Authorities want to void this season, Roger, they will. They don't give a flying fig for promotion or relegation... and as for litigation, the football organisations can whistle Dixie.
Brian Williams
131 Posted 14/03/2020 at 19:37:09
Andrew #120.

I've thought about it and your idea sounds like a cop-out.

"Ooh... don't upset them; they'll try even harder."

Jay Evans
132 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:09:57
I hate them and their fans, Kevin, and I'm not daft. At least I don't think I am.

As for not bringing up Heysel, I've been told off for doing this on numerous occasions by my red friends over the years, but I've never heard a blue that has an issue with it. Until now.

It's okay for them to crow about being ‘European Royalty' to me, so every time they mention their illustrious European Cup history, I remind them about that evil night in Belgium.

Funnily enough, they very rarely say much after that. Not to my face anyway.

Jerome Shields
133 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:13:20
Liverpool will have to take it on the chin, if the season is not completed and the required matches are not played. Everton had to take it on the chin when they were part of the English Club European Ban in the 1980s, caused by some of Liverpool's fan at Heysel, Everton had a team with the clear potential to win the European Cup.

Anyway, all precautions need to be taken regarding this pandemic, which is getting more serious by the day, and the Premier League is a secondary consideration.

My grandmother lost two sisters buried on the same day in the 1918-20 Spanish Flu pandemic. There were two waves of it and more people died in the second wave, so the implications are in their infancy at the moment.

Jerome Shields
134 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:30:47
I read some early post regarding feasible solutions to awarding Liverpool the Premier League title.

Never, Never, Never, Never!

Brent Stephens
135 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:31:36
I’m bored already. Every day is going to be like the one before it.

Waiting for Godot.

Jason Southon
136 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:32:14
Had a discussion with a friend about smaller clubs in League One and Two; he was saying they would go bust. I disagreed with him as they would only miss out on home game revenues. In League Two on average, most teams only have 5 home games left.

Say 3,000 fans each game (not counting season ticket holders) paying £15 each, times by 5 and the amount per team is less than £400k. Top teams in the Premier League would cover this at £20k each.

Charles Brewer
137 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:47:31
The situation has to be looked at in the round, not just the top of the Premier League.

If we look at the Championship, there are nine matches to go for each team. Leeds and West Brom are ahead of the pack but a poor run could let Fulham, Brentford, Nottm Forest or Preston NE through. And Bristol City, Millwall, Cardiff CIty, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City and Derby County are between 1 and 5 points off the playoffs. So 12 teams are in with a chance of promotion. Who decides who is going up from the playoffs?

This is replicated in every division. The situation of Liverpool is different from any other team in any division, and surely there must be equal and identical treatment for all teams in all divisions. Anything else is grossly unfair on dozens of teams.

The only possible fair outcome is to abandon the season and start as we were in Summer 2019. While this will be difficult for West Brom and Leeds, at least it will prevent endless litigation and arbitrary rulings across the entire sport.

Liverpool's situation is unfortunate for them (and I would certainly laugh like a drain), but any other solution than complete scrapping of this season would be grossly unfair and would stink of special treatment. It's not as if they are going to lose any money, unlike the teams in the Championship.

Sean Callaghan
138 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:50:33
Of course you are correct, Dave (126) and Chris (128), and there are far more important issues. But, as someone who has spent literally hours over the course of the last few days reading every news update, every new announcement, and every release of horrible death toll numbers, I personally feel light-hearted outlets like these are a very welcome distraction.
Charles Brewer
139 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:50:45
And if they do get awarded it, every set of supporters in the world will be able to sing song like:

"Didn't really win it,
You know you didn't really win it
You didn't win it,
You know you didn't really win it"

I'm sure the Mancs will come up with something better – perhaps along the lines of that lovely Gerrard song about Demba Ba.

Tom Bowers
140 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:09:22
Yes, it would have to be across the board and if that would prove difficult then leave everything until they can resume.

If not, you cannot single Liverpool out just because there is a big points gap in their situation... but, of course, we all know that them and Man Utd always get big decisions in their favour.

Andrew Haizelden
141 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:45:26
I see plenty of mention of resuming play when the bell curve for the virus having peaked starts it's way down. Is it that simple?

There will still be people contracting the virus and measures in place to prevent it rising again.

So how long is this particular piece of string?

Mick Davies
142 Posted 15/03/2020 at 01:46:40
Fear of insurance claims against the FA and Premier League have been mentioned here, but this is an Act of God, and not the fault of the clubs, therefore I'm sure they don't have a case.

If Liverpool were to be awarded the title following a complete abandonment of the season, then it would open up a huge can of financial and legal worms which could destroy the game in this country.

We all know that the peak in this epidemic won't be reached until June at the earliest, so finishing the season off is pure fantasy: the clubs will have too many unfit, or hospitalised players, so that is a nonsense.

The only sensible option is for the season to be scrapped – it happened at the start of the 2nd World War, and also, when clubs have played games, then been kicked out of the league (Accrington, Leeds City etc), had their records expunged, which was unfair on the clubs who had beaten them.

No clubs can be relegated; ergo, no-one can be declared winners of anything, bar Man City. To take a local example, Tranmere were looking doomed, but 3 wins on the bounce, and the momentum this brings, has shortened the gap, and the odds, and it looked a certainty they would survive.

So No, to those above who were posting in favour of the enemy being awarded a 'phoney' title: just remember the injustice we suffered through their shameful act, and even worse, the Steaua Bucharest banner.

This is a natural phenomenon, beyond the remit of the football authorities, yet 1985 wasn't: Everton fans were praised by the police in Rotterdam, and had no involvement in the disgraceful scenes and loss of life a week later, and that lost us our manager and best players – theirs will still be eligible for all competitions next season.

John Keating
143 Posted 15/03/2020 at 07:22:04

Our neighbours are still deluded.

I was in a pub a couple of months ago and I overheard a few of them talking about how the ban affected them more than any other team. Seems the "it was really southern accent Chelsea supporters" nonsense is still what caused Heysel and believed by them.

Ian Hollingworth
144 Posted 15/03/2020 at 08:16:03
Let's see what happens but I am sorry you cannot award a title to someone just because they deserve it. If the season can't be finished, then tough shit, it's void and that's not just because it's Liverpool. It's the same for everyone.

The Telegraph article Lyndon refers to is authored by Tony Evans who is an RS and he is already doing the rounds on the radio stations. They are planting the seeds so that people start saying all the shite that they deserve it, they would have won it anyway.

When listening to the media bullshit, ask them about what happens to Champions League and don't be surprised to hear they don't really care about that funnily enough.

Billy Roberts
145 Posted 15/03/2020 at 08:46:01
Good point, Ian @144

Tony Evans, he's so impartial, isn't he? Fuck off!

Phil McNulty chief sports writer on the BBC website you can fuck off too, funnily enough there was still an article on the BBC website yesterday by him talking about putting the red ribbons on the trophy!!

Oh, I would love it for this season to be scrapped, the smugness of them and their song Ole Ole Ole, "We're from Liverpool "really? And "We've won the fuckin lot"!

Erm... except the cup winners cup and as we stand the Premier league.

Let's hope it stays that way.

Tony Abrahams
146 Posted 15/03/2020 at 09:19:01
Life is much more important, but you wouldn’t realise it if you listened to some President’s or Prime Ministers, speak to delay, (shutting down) because we all know money, is the only “True Religion”

This virus is going to see loads off, and has already started setting precedents, so my own view is maybe the season will continue because of promotion and relegation, and the following season, whenever it is played, might just have a very shortened league, where every team just plays each other once. This is a Liverpool website I’m on isn’t it!

Rob Halligan
147 Posted 15/03/2020 at 09:31:45
Can't remember exactly what year it was when Newcastle were 10 - 12 points clear at the turn of the year, but we didn't head their fans saying give us the trophy now as we won't be caught. Eerr, but you were caught and overtaken. Ok,the points difference and number of games left to play is well different, but proves it can be done. Highly unlikely we know, but while it's still mathematically possible to catch them, they don't deserve to be given the premier league until it's mathematically impossible to catch them.

Do Aston villa, Bournemouth and Norwich deserve to be relegated now because they are the current three bottom teams? No,because while it's still mathematically possible for them to get out of the bottom three they will believe they can get out of it.

The common words here are Mathematically possible / impossible. Until either scenario becomes reality, which at the moment is looking highly unlikely, then the RS should not be crowned champions.

Billy Roberts
148 Posted 15/03/2020 at 10:14:00
Rob @147
Totally agree, and furthermore Aston Villa have played 1 game less than the other relegation dwellers, 1 game that if won would move them out of the zone.
Any talk of promotion/relegation play offs couldn't involve Villa in theory.
James Hughes
149 Posted 15/03/2020 at 10:32:59
Just been reading the papers and a bad article on the mail online.
Oliver Holt saying the RS should be given the title as it's only fair as they are the best team. Villa, Norwich and B'mouth should be relegated as they are the bottom. That's not really fair but never mind because the RS have won the title and they deserve it. He's been paid to write that!
Michael Lynch
150 Posted 15/03/2020 at 11:04:45
It’s all nonsense. If the the shite haven’t mathematically won the league then they aren’t the champions. Doesn’t matter what anyone, not even the football authorities, say. You can’t award sports trophies to people because “they deserve it”. Give them a certificate of merit or something.

Football will resume when it’s safe to resume. It might be in a month or a year or three years, nobody knows. As for the financial implications for clubs, join the fucking queue. No business is going to come out of this unscathed except the soap manufacturers. Try having a look at the current value of your personal pension, everyone is going to suffer financially.

Ray Roche
151 Posted 15/03/2020 at 11:43:33
I read today that the season might be resolved in August/September which would lead to next season being shortened as a result. Why? Why mess up two seasons just to give the cash cow the title? Unbelievable! Words are cheap, words like “Football is not important at a time like this “. Really? Well abandon your chase for the title and say that the season should be cancelled. Fuckin’ U Boat Captain.
Brian Harrison
153 Posted 15/03/2020 at 11:47:55
Well seeing that some of us ie 70s and over will soon be asked to self isolate for 16 weeks, it seems irrelevant if the season is null and void or completed as we will still be in self isolation. The suggestion by the government is that this self isolation by this group will start in the next 5 - 20 days so we may not be out of isolation till August. How we will cope being in isolation for so long is just so hard to contemplate. Again this country is doing something that no other country is doing in isolating a specific group for so long. Maybe a month and re asses but 4 months.
Micky Norman
154 Posted 15/03/2020 at 12:00:11
Whenever this crisis is over play all remaining games. Ditch the Euros. Allow a sufficient close season to be agreed by clubs. Ditch all friendly and meaningless internationals for the next x years. Allow clubs to not enter meaningless cups if they need to until the timetable gets back to near normal.
Michael Lynch
155 Posted 15/03/2020 at 12:25:44
I don’t know why anyone (other than RS and Leeds fans) would want to finish this season rather than start the new one afresh. Keep it simple, scrap the old and start the new, it’s no big deal. Anything else is just so complicated and messy
John Keating
156 Posted 15/03/2020 at 13:10:09
the arseholes running UEFA and FIFA will no way drop their competitions as they need the money to support their lifestyles.

Klippety is saying all the right things now but let's see if that changes if this season is voided. Can you imagine the umbrage from the Orcs around town if it was voided? Would be fantastic. I'd be made up.

Steve Brown
157 Posted 15/03/2020 at 13:14:14
If the season is declared finished rather than null and void, Bournemouth, Villa and Norwich City get relegated despite there being a further 3 clubs in the mix and Villa having played a game less. Then we are headed to the courts as there are multi-millions at stake.

That is why the 'crown Liverpool' argument is not so straightforward. All the games that remain in the season have to be played to settle the relegation battle or the league is called off. Also, why any self respecting Everton would advocate handing the trophy to those tossers I don't know!

John McFarlane Snr
158 Posted 15/03/2020 at 13:53:39
Hi Mick [142] I have, [on one thread or another] expressed the view that the season should run to it's natural conclusion, no matter when that may be, or it should be considered null and void. I am not what some consider a 'Bitter Blue', but there can be no reason/excuse for the 'FA'/Premier League' to even consider announcing that Liverpool are Premier League Champions, or denying clubs the chance of staving off relegation. In my opinion the same stance must apply to clubs in the lower Leagues, common sense and fairness has to prevail.

I'm appealing you to tolerate an old man in his dotage, by explaining why the Steaua Bucharest banner is of such significance, it may well trigger an instant response, and I'll be able to say, "Yes I remember that" or it may on the other hand, cause even more confusion. Best wishes john.

Brian Williams
159 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:08:39
Because John, Steaua Bucharest won the European Cup the first year Everton would have competed in it but for the ban.
Steve Brown
160 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:38:37
Brian @ 159, I actually went to the final as I was studying for year at the University of Sevilla. Worst game ever, 0-0 AET and Barcelona missed every penalty in the shoot out..They had Venables as manager and Steve Archibald in the team. I think Lacatus was playing for Steaua but that could be my memory playing tricks on me.
Steve Brown
161 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:39:31
We would have absolutely battered both teams.
Tony Abrahams
162 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:43:21
Brian@153, that might just be the first common-sense thing I’ve heard this government say on this matter imo mate.

Mike G, said that the Chinese have been ruthless with the way they have made people stay at home, and hopefully a lot more people are going to live-to tell the tale, as a result of this.

The more life goes on, the more this virus is going to spread, and if the fit and healthy, seem to make a full recovery, whilst the elderly and vulnerable are not so lucky, then I’m glad I’m hearing some common-sense off the idiots in charge, especially because Europe is now the Epicentre of this plague.

John McFarlane Snr
163 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:49:52
Hi Brian [159] thanks for the explanation, I'm afraid I would never have arrived at the point of recognition, on reflection I probably had little interest in European games unless Everton were involved. I take it that Mick was under the impression that some Liverpool fan had the knowledge and the wit, to celebrate this event, and waited 35 years for his 'moment'. I've heard the expression "Slow to respond" but that's stretching things a bit.

I'm still waiting for someone to find an excuse for a get-together, but it's looking less likely by the day, as a member of the 'Endangered Species' I anticipate a sentence of at least 4 months. My 'Young Lady' and I are off to our daughters to celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary, the last chance of any sort of gathering.

Alan J Thompson
164 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:49:53
If they are awarded the title can we be listed as having won the League from 1914 to 1918 and again from 1939 to 1945. After all, it only moves up the list of most titles by one place.

No, I thought not but there are those who say we should never raise yesterday.

Tony Abrahams
165 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:52:47
Have a good day John Mc, drink loads of fresh orange juice mate!
Ray Robinson
166 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:02:56
I remember at the time reluctantly accepting the European ban in the interest of stamping out the English hooliganism disease. This despite being in Rotterdam with 25,000 other Blues, not a single one of whom was arrested. The bitterness came later and surfaces with a vengeance whenever I see that Steaua Bucharest flag on the Kop. However, it was the right decision at the time.

As far as this season is concerned, we should 1] try to complete it. If, as doesn't seem possible, it can't run to conclusion we should 2) look to see if anything definitive had happened before it ended. Was any already champions in any division, had anyone been relegated already. No? then 3) void the whole competition.

It would be devastating on Liverpool and two of my best mates who are Liverpudlians (both sound blokes) but is it necessary for the greater good? Yes, just like the blanket European ban was in 1986 onwards.

I feel slightly guilty even contemplating this topic when hundreds, possibly thousands of people will lose their lives and the economy is likely to go belly up causing mass unemployment and hardship. Life is indeed more important than football - just occasionally we all lose our sense of proportion and sometimes need reminding.

Brian Williams
167 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:03:15
John the flag was first shown, if my memory serves me correctly, the season following the Bucharest win.
A lot of Blues feel that not only was something done to piss off Evertonians but it was something done that reflected their total lack of awareness over the incident that caused the ban in the first place.
John McFarlane Snr
168 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:04:22
Hi Tony [165] thanks for your good wishes, but I'm afraid that fresh orange juice is off limits, [too much sugar.] I've just had a hernia operation cancelled as a result, so it's back to the waiting list. Have you ever heard the song "Life gets tedious don't it"? if not look it up on YouTube.
Tony Abrahams
169 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:14:20
Life is tedious, that’s why we have so many alcoholics, junkies, and people addicted to gambling John Mc, enjoy your day, and be thankful that your only real vice is football mate!
Keith Dempsey
170 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:21:13
Of course it's ridiculous to think they weren't going to win the title, just as it was for the Ryder cup in Medinah, Headingley in 1981 and Denis Taylor in 1985, you just never know.
Gerard McKean
171 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:25:13
As people have pointed out, the Football League was suspended during the war years.

I’ll join the soft-hearted luvvies arguing on this thread that the title should just be given to LFC because they “deserve” it just as soon as I hear one of their lot arguing that as Everton were Champions in both 1913 and 1939 we should have been awarded the titles until 1919 and and 1946 because we were indisputably the best team and deserved it. That would put us on 20, 2 more than the RS.

Utter drivel of course. Just like the argument for giving anything to the RS.

Darren Hind
173 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:26:48
Johnny Mac

You and your young lady sound like you could forge a new career giving online Marriage Guidance to today's youngsters.

You two have a great day with your family

Tony Abrahams
174 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:34:39
I’m one of those soft-hearted luvvies Gerard, I find it better to tell Liverpudlians what they want to hear, but then change my stance at a later date, telling them, it’s something I’ve learned from them!
Stan Schofield
177 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:52:31
There are comments above about a sense of proportion.

Yes, it's blindingly obvious that people getting ill and many losing their lives is an infinitely more important matter than football. However, this is a football forum, where football issues are discussed. Such discussion is entirely separate, but obviously related, to the coronavirus issues. The latter do nothing to give us a sense of proportion about football, because we should already have that sense of proportion.

Football is not of zero importance, it is simply far less important than issues of life and death. There's no need for anybody on here to apologise or feel guilty about discussing football issues at this moment in time. Having a sense of proportion includes carrying on with everyday life in the face of adversity.

And no, no team should be awarded a title unless a competition has run its course and they've won it.

Tony Abrahams
178 Posted 15/03/2020 at 15:52:32
That’s probably one of the longest lists on T/W, that Darren!
Mike Gaynes
179 Posted 15/03/2020 at 16:04:42
John Mc #163, mazel tov and congratulations on your wedding anniversary, fine sir, and enjoy the party, even if it's the last for a while.

On the occasion of their 60th anniversary, my grandparents were interviewed by a local TV station. The reporter leaned in and asked, "Mr. and Mrs. Bauling, what's the secret? What's the glue to a 60-year marriage?"

My 4-foot-8-inch grandmother grinned into the camera and quipped, "Great sex!" My grandfather's expression never changed.

Jerome Shields
180 Posted 15/03/2020 at 20:15:10
If it is refered to VAR Liverpool will be awarded the title.
John McFarlane Snr
181 Posted 15/03/2020 at 21:39:33
Hi Gerard [171] I hate to be pedantic, but I'm trying to avoid you having to eat humble pie. We actually won the League in 1914-15 passing that distinction on to West Bromwich Albion in 1919/20. There were no League programmes in seasons 1915-16, 1916-17, 1917-18, and 1918-19.

We won the League in 1938-39, and handed the trophy over to our arch enemies Liverpool in 1946-47. There was no League programme in 1939-40 although Everton played three games in the 1939-40 season before war was declared, but the appearances and goals were not recorded from those fixtures.

There were no League programmes in 1940-41, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1943-44, 1944-45, 1945-46

In 1945-46 the FA Cup was competed for, but unfortunately Everton were eliminated by Preston North End, in home and away ties, 4-3 on aggregate.

Andy Crooks
182 Posted 15/03/2020 at 22:06:12
John McFarlane. I have a book for you that I hoped to give to you at a spring get together with Mike Gaynes. As that looks unlikely if you could let, Dave A Derek K or Steve Ferns know your address, they could text me and I will post it to you.
Alan McGuffog
183 Posted 15/03/2020 at 22:57:15
John 168. " And I think ahm gittin dandruff"
John Boon
184 Posted 15/03/2020 at 23:14:05
Hi John,
I know this particular article has probably run its course and there is unlikely to be too many responses but I saw your name and just had to comment.

I posted on a different article about the affect of the two wars. I had a slightly different take, somewhat tongue in cheek. I noted that we had won the league imediately before each war.

1. After WW1 we kept the Championship for "4" more years

2After WW2 we kept the Championship for "7"more years

3 By my recogning 7+4 = 11 plus the 9 we also have gives us 20

Biased and "Blue" but I will do anything to get one up

Still very disappointed not too have met up with you. But our very late cancellation from Canada with my two sons for the Derby has proved to be very fortunate. I am now looking toward late August although nobody can be sure about this virus

John McFarlane Snr
185 Posted 15/03/2020 at 23:15:00
Hi Andy [182] It's very kind of you, but then again it shows the spirit of the true football follower. I'll contact Steve Ferns, I have his e-mail address. Once again I must thank you for your kindness, and don't worry we'll share the company of fellow 'Toffewebbers' when this horrible virus has been obliterated.
John McFarlane Snr
186 Posted 15/03/2020 at 23:30:45
Hi Alan [183]. When I was a youngster my uncle told me that Everton had bought Dan Druff from Ayr United, he also told me that we had bought two Chinese players, We Wun Wonce, and Long TYme Synce, I actually believed him, I guess that I've always been gullible.

Hi John [184] I'm not long back from my daughters home, I managed to get one get-together [the family kind] I'll e-mail you tomorrow.

David Hayes
187 Posted 16/03/2020 at 08:23:12
Mike #4. If the RS are awarded the title without another game taking place, despite thier massive point lead this accepts a conclusion to the season, meaning the bottom three must be relagated as it stands. If the RS had a much smaller lead, if up to say 10 or 12 points, what then? The implications for nearly all teams in the prem whould be unfair and damaging. This situtation only gives one team an advantage and damages all the rest.
The only way to do this is to void the season tottaly There are are 20 teams in the prem, not one. The Sky, BT, and all the other broadcasters who portray a top four only matter policy will have a major influnence in the final outcome, confirming utterley thats it just about money and buisness. Doe's any one think for one moment that if a team outside the SKY darling set where in the same position as the RS, they would be even remotely be considering awarding them the title. Whatever the outcome I do not trust big bisiness to make the right call. The absolute priority now is the safety and health of all those clubs, players and fans, void it now and minimise the risk, its the only thing to do.
Gerard McKean
188 Posted 16/03/2020 at 09:24:38
John # no need for humble pie, my calculations were tongue in cheek.
John McFarlane Snr
189 Posted 16/03/2020 at 09:36:06
Hi Gerard [188],

I hope I didn't cause offence, I'm off now to enjoy my freedom before they lock me down. I consider it 'locking me up' which seems a better option than 'Putting me down'.

Brent Stephens
190 Posted 16/03/2020 at 09:44:03
Just read that the Swedish ice hockey association have announced the immediate conclusion of its season in the top three men's leagues and the women's SDHL, with no play-offs, no champions, no promotion, no relegation.
Tony J Williams
191 Posted 16/03/2020 at 10:06:46
Don't tease me Brent
Brent Stephens
192 Posted 16/03/2020 at 10:11:28
Tony, reported in today's Guardian, page 42, in article titled "Van Dijk fears Liverpool may be crowned champions in empty stadium".

Please, God...

Derek Thomas
193 Posted 16/03/2020 at 10:23:34
The Australian Football Federation (FFA) is playing the remaining 6 games behind closed doors.
Melbourne and Wellington, who had played in New Zealand, have to comeback to Australia, do 14 days isolation then squeeze in their last 6 games.
With Wellington having to go back at the end to another 14 day isolation period in New Zealand.

Minor and under age games, can still be played under 'Enhanced Hygiene' conditions...what ever that means

I can see this all falling down as events escalate.

Edit; the Warriors RL team have said 'kit, were going home after 2 rounds of the competition.

Rob Halligan
194 Posted 16/03/2020 at 11:38:12
Here's an interesting thought. The RS still have to play Villa at home and Brighton away. Assuming the way things have been going, you would expect the RS to win both games, although there is no guarantee. What would the likes of Norwich, Watford, Bournemouth and West Ham think if they knew they had a chance of avoiding relegation knowing villa and Brighton could lose points in these games, while they picked up points in their own games?

So no, the fairest way is to null and void the season, no champions, no relegation and no promotion from the championship. Tough on the RS (it's not really 😂😂😂) Leeds and West Brom as it stands, but it's the easiest way to sort this out.

If the season ran on into August or September, when does the next season start, in November? The whole sequence would be out. It could take years to get the season back running from August to May. So just scrap it and start afresh in this coming August.

Gerard McKean
195 Posted 16/03/2020 at 12:12:40
Of course no offence taken, John. I look forward to a pint and a chat if they let you out early for good behaviour.
Kevin Dyer
197 Posted 16/03/2020 at 14:05:13
Darren #103 not upset at all bud. You can throw around alternate analogies in subsequent posts, some of which may be apt, but I'm calling out the boxing one as makingno sense, to anyone who knows anything about that sport.

Whatever happens, happens. The crowing from many contributors to this thread that the best team by a mile this season may not win the title, due to unfortunate circumstances doesn't sit well with me. If all we've got is hoping they don't win something then priorities are all wrong and we are exactly like some of their fans like to paint us: a small club. In all honesty what I want is to see us as competitive again. We're about as far from them right now as Tranmere are to us, that's the real kick in the guts.

If they are successful I don't sweat it. They get clobbered like with the Europa final vs Seville a while back, or Athletico last week then yeah I have a chuckle. Some people on here though I think it makes their year and that ain't me, so there's that.

Alan McGuffog
199 Posted 16/03/2020 at 19:55:04
Well said Kevin.
I've no love for that lit or their crowing fans. But things look like getting so bad well forget about football. It's not just the virus it's what's happening and will happen to society that scares the bejesus out of me.
I'd gladly see them crowned champions if we could only turn the clock back a few months.
I hope no bugger ever repeats that brain dead comment of Shankly ever again
James Lauwervine
200 Posted 17/03/2020 at 00:58:03
My Reasonable and Rational Football Supporter Mind (the attitude of all of my non-blue friends): <>Give Liverpool the league, they've won it, all but mathematically. Great team, what an achievement, etc.

My Blue Side: Ha ha ha ha ha. 30 years, ha ha ha, Slippy, ha ha ha etc

Darren Hind
201 Posted 17/03/2020 at 04:20:51
Call it out all you want, Kevin, but please don't speak of most football fans. It makes no sense to you because you clearly still don't understand the point, It was about seemingly unassailable leads being lost. I believe the majority will understand that knock-out blows occur in every sport. A tyre failure, slipped irons, a tee shot landing in the water. an injury to a goalkeeper when he looks just about invincible.

You say wanting them not to be given the title makes us a small club? You are wrong again. Supporters of just about every top club in England would applaud a decision not to hand them the title.

I'd go further and say supporters of ALL sports would be happy to see the very ethos of sport upheld by not handing a trophy to somebody who didn't cross the finishing line.

I would say the same thing if it were any other club. You cannot award a sporting prize to anybody who has not yet won it. That said, if it happened to them, it would give me enormous satisfaction to know their seemingly unassailable lead counted or nothing. That those who so wronged our club, got to experience what it felt like to be deprived of glory by something which was completely out of their control.

Not the same thing I know, but it's probably about as close to justice as we are ever going to get.

Alex Parr
202 Posted 17/03/2020 at 04:31:41
Interestingly, a precedent has already been set when the 1939-40 season was abandoned. Blackpool I believe were leading the table, and were not awarded the title with the outbreak of WW2. Everton of course were defending Champions.

Also, we were defending Champions when WW1 started too... that's ten seasons lost as defending Champions.

Slightly off-topic, and in no way meant to cause offence, but am I right in thinking, and I'm being serious, that Hitler was a kopite?

Darren Hind
203 Posted 17/03/2020 at 04:34:06
Alan @199,

You are right, of course. Anyone with family will be growing increasingly anxious as they read the latest numbers... but ToffeeWeb is and will hopefully continue to offer us all a welcome distraction.

Many will be stuck in their homes. Coming on here to moan about our club and all the other relatively trivial stuff we discuss will (imo) help people get through it.

Alex Parr
204 Posted 17/03/2020 at 04:48:40
And another thing. That dickhead Boris Johnson is saying that this is the worst thing ever in peacetime – akin to wartime conditions. If that's the case, 10 seasons between 1914 and 1945 were abandoned or sacked off when we were reigning Champions because of war. I was not about back then but I cannot imagine the level of bleating from our boys back then, as there is that's going on from our lovable neighbours and the filthy media now.

They have not won anything yet.

Derek Thomas
205 Posted 17/03/2020 at 05:48:17
Alex @ 202;

Of course he was, couldn't be anything else really could he? His half brother lived for a while at 102 Upper Stanhope Street. My grandad swore he saw him once with a red and white scarf on so it must be true.

Mike Benjamin
206 Posted 17/03/2020 at 07:39:41
It doesn't matter what happens now with how the Premier League is decided. Even if they are champions they will not be able to celebrate. By then, there will be many thousands who are dead, some from every club in the country including supporters, relatives of players and possibly employees. There will be no open-top bus parade. It will be so hollow a victory that it simply will not matter.
Eddie Dunn
207 Posted 17/03/2020 at 07:45:02
Rob @194, I agree but add that the longer that this health issue is still preventing normal life (and therefore sport) the harder it will be to incorporate the remaining games. If the Euros were scrapped to let this season conclude, and players were happy to continue, it might be possible to finish this season and begin the next with little delay.

However, the mixed messages coming from the health experts suggest that this virus is still an unknown quantity, with the possibility of mutating, making it harder to stop. Vaccines are some way off, and availability of them on a mass scale will also be a long way off.

I know that in these circumstances it is only a minor thing but presuming that the health problems are solved, the chances of the season being completed are looking slight.

I am truly sorry for Leeds and West Brom, and one other, and I do have compassion for those athletes at Liverpool who have worked so hard for their goal. I don't give a fig for their boss or their fans though.

I heard a female red on the radio last week moaning that it "always happens to us". Navel-gazing self-absorbed and no idea what it's like for all of the fans at other clubs. Every club has a hard-luck story. This one can be added to their little list.

Alan McGuffog
208 Posted 17/03/2020 at 07:51:26
Eddie, in times of shortages like these, I thought The Sun was the best fall back for arsewipe. I was wrong. The Red Echo gets the award. Check out Aldridge's "article" yesterday. Puerile to say the least. Infantile at best.

There are people dropping dead, emergency services are stretched to the limit and the likes of him and that lass you refer to are concerned about a piece of tin.

Kevin Latham
209 Posted 17/03/2020 at 07:52:08
Alex @202, Hitler a kopite? Of course he was, and it's authenticated historical fact that so was Pol Pot (Cambodian anagram of ‘redshite'), Stalin (Red Army, isn't that enough?), Franco (a Liverpool player from the 1930s had a middle name of Frank, proof if proof were even needed there), Mussolini (swung from a lamppost singing You'll Never...), Genghis Khan (invented the Coronavirus), and that guy who cut me up on Edge Lane the other day (ugly bastard).

When you contrast that with some famous Blues, well, tells its own story. God (obviously), Our Lady (always in blue and white), Dalai Lama (Nepalese for ‘Dixie 60 in a season' and has a season ticket for Upper Bullens – I saw him buying a scouse pie), The Pope (wrote the Z-Cars theme and always wears the 1984 Rotterdam jersey under his cassock – the one he wore at the game), and Tom Hanks (nicest man in the world apparently). My case rests.

Kristian Boyce
210 Posted 17/03/2020 at 08:36:22
Kevin @209, unfortunately I’d love to believe that but I think you’re making it up. Unfortunately Tom Hanks is a Villa fan, but you’re spot on for the rest!
Eddie Dunn
211 Posted 17/03/2020 at 08:40:41
At this worrying time can we all spare a moment to think of all those pundits who are rapidly running out of work. Only a few will continue to bleat about the unfairness of it all.

Mark Lawrenson, Steve McManaman, Ray Houghton, Steven Warnock, John Aldridge, Graeme Souness, Danny Murphy, Phil Thompson, Jamie Carragher, Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince, Michael Owen and Peter Crouch.

Thinking of you all at this difficult time.

John G Davies
212 Posted 17/03/2020 at 08:41:45
Aldridge is a classless prick. Always has been, from his days at Garston Woodcutters to the present day.

"People who want the league closing are selfish."

There are people dying here, you scruff.

Kevin Latham
214 Posted 17/03/2020 at 08:58:24
Kristian@210, sorry, that’s my fault for not being clear - I didn’t mean Tom Hanks the actor, but that nice Tom Hanks who lives next door but one to me. Lovely, lovely man, always helpful and nothing is too much trouble.
Rob Halligan
215 Posted 17/03/2020 at 10:00:45
Amanda Holden, Jennifer Ellison and Claire Sweeney, just three of the sexiest girls who support the blues. I bet all three are desperate for the shite not to be awarded the Premier League.

There must be some right ugly scruffs who support the shite, but I can't be arsed looking them up.

Robert Tressell
216 Posted 17/03/2020 at 11:48:42
Rob Halligan. You had to mention Claire Sweeney at a time when people are rationing tissues... Irresponsible.
Billy Roberts
218 Posted 17/03/2020 at 12:41:09
Eddie @211
Jamie Crowley
219 Posted 17/03/2020 at 13:41:55
Euros just postponed until 2021.

Jamie Crowley
220 Posted 17/03/2020 at 13:48:30
I think that will spell the end of the EPL season for sure.

Time will tell. Not playing the Euros may actually provide more time to finish domestic seasons, assuming come mid-April we're even in a position to consider such a thing.

The economic effect of all of this is reaching apocalyptic proportions. Small businesses in this country are going to take a beating - mine is already hurting. Larger companies will be forced to let workers go. Unemployment is going to soar. Couple that with the USA sitting on a $23 Trillion deficit, and banks leveraged to the hilt, it's pretty scary stuff.

We need to be safe and "shelter in place." But the second it's safe to do so, commerce needs to come firing out of the gates.

And when people say, "We're all in this together" they aren't kidding. It's a world economy, and everyone needs to help one another. Any politician talking myopically about only his or her country's woes, should be duly voted out of office for lack of perspective and intelligence.

Brent Stephens
221 Posted 17/03/2020 at 13:55:55
Eddie #211 very good. It's so unfair that it falls on some many ex rs players.

Jamie Crowley
222 Posted 17/03/2020 at 14:17:17
And now the Copa America follows the Euros and is postponed until 2021.

They’re falling like dominoes.

Ken Kneale
223 Posted 17/03/2020 at 14:25:02
All leagues should now be cancelled
Rob Halligan
224 Posted 17/03/2020 at 15:22:18
Robert Tressell # 216. So Claire Sweeney is one of your favourites as well. Here are mate, just for you 👍👍👍


Jay Wood

225 Posted 17/03/2020 at 16:07:55
Jamie @ 220.

'The economic effect of all of this is reaching apocalyptic proportions.'

Is right, Jamie.

This is just the start. All global markets have taken scarily huge hits already on the tentative steps governments have reluctantly made to date. Check the current value of your pension fund, for those who have one, or any share holdings.

Those falls have not yet fully factored in the growing reality of the situation, that commerce, manufacturing and the circulation of money will increasingly come to a complete standstill and dry up.

Central banks are once again bailing out the big corporations to prop up the collapsing infrastructure, but I don't expect to read CEO's and their directors announcing they will forgo their salaries or dividends until this crisis passes.

Instead, they will already be running the numbers of how they can cut costs. And top of that list will be staff cuts, who they can let go. Small independent businesses (such as your own maybe..?) will do well just to survive.

This is going to lead to a tsunami of unemployment at a time when costs are likely to soar as items we take for granted became ever scarcer to source as restrictions are preventing the work force from manufacturing, planting, growing, harvesting and delivering any and every item imaginable.

The 'debate' on the merits and demerits of awarding the 'bours the PL title occupies an infintisimally small part of this crisis by comparison.

Andy Crooks
226 Posted 17/03/2020 at 16:10:42
Alex @ 202, I don't think Hitler was a kopite but his half brother Alois may have been. He was married to a Dublin girl, Bridget Hitler. They moved to Liverpool and their house was destroyed in an air raid. Bridget Hitler died in 1968.
Mike Gaynes
227 Posted 17/03/2020 at 16:22:42
Jamie #220, amen.
Robert Tressell
228 Posted 17/03/2020 at 16:42:42
Is that Bridget Hitler story true?!!!
Rob Halligan
229 Posted 17/03/2020 at 16:44:01
Seems the red echo is convinced that the season will be completed!! I wonder why?


James Flynn
230 Posted 17/03/2020 at 16:54:13
Rob (229) - Because that is the only way to determine relegation and promotion across Europe. The clubs involved must have a fair chance only the full schedule affords them.

What next season looks like can be determined at the same time.

Jamie Crowley
231 Posted 17/03/2020 at 17:40:36
Jay -

Small independent businesses (such as your own maybe..?) will do well just to survive.

^^ Yup.

I think we Crowley's will be fine, as long as there isn't a world-wide depression / collapse (obviously).

But my little biz is already feeling the awful affects of this, and it'll be one hell of a tough year coming up.
After February, we were well ahead of 2019 and looking at our biggest year ever. We're now showing a loss for the year. The turn-around has been abrupt and downright violent. The Mrs. and I have already discussed the "staring into the abyss plan" just so we're prepared for any eventuality. But again, I do believe we'll weather the storm.

On a macro level, if I had to guess, come May the economy will be back on track. Not the drunken sailor on track we've been living in, but back on track. I'll wager the economy, businesses, and personal wealth will be staring at a 10% to 15% overall loss for 2020.

That' including some that will be devastated / wiped out with unemployment, and that awful reality.

This economic landscape has the ability to make 2008-2009 look like a picnic.

Say your prayers, kids. And if you don't subscribe to that way of thinking, find your inner John Lennon, Imagine, and help your neighbor. Rough times coming I'm afraid.

Football / Soccer is a game. With all of the above said, it pales in comparison to life. But I will say, I've never realized how much I've taken "sport" for granted. It's an unbelievable gift to have. It offers entertainment, an escape from reality, and we watch for moments that ignite the soul. I miss it, will miss it, and when it returns I'll never take it for granted again. I'll thank my lucky stars we live in a society that offers such a thing to humanity. It exemplifies the human spirit in it's own way, and it's beautiful to behold on so many levels.

And that, for me, is not hyperbole. I mean every single word of it.

Andy Crooks
232 Posted 17/03/2020 at 17:50:48
Robert@ 228. Yes, it is true.
John Pierce
233 Posted 17/03/2020 at 17:54:20
Time for universal income folks until the pandemic is over.
Phil Bellis
234 Posted 17/03/2020 at 18:41:36
Hi Andy, my arl grandad told me Hitler used to drink in what is now Peter Kavanaghs in Egerton Street; it was known as the Grapes or Peters' back then

There's also a mention/rumour of the census at the time recording a "family member" in temporary residence at Alois' home

Tony Abrahams
235 Posted 17/03/2020 at 18:57:47
Jamie@231, a true humanitarian post that mate, hopefully your positivity is going to become infectious, even though we all know how bad things are going to get.

Help is what we are all going to need, so hopefully it becomes the word, at the top of everybody’s list!

Jay Wood

236 Posted 17/03/2020 at 18:58:53
Jamie @ 231.

I 100% agree with the sentiment of your 'hyperbole'.

We take the diversion and leisure we glean from sport as a given. All the more so in the wall-to-wall coverage of all sports these days.

Only now that it has been decimated and nothing remains on the sporting calendar can we better appreciate it.

Who, like me, now browses the internet first thing in the morning and is done and dusted in five minutes instead of an hour because there are no overnight sports scores or reports to catch up on?

Read this piece from the BBC Jamie that echoes many of the sentiments you express about the place of sports in our lives.

Yes, sport seems trivial in the face of this global crisis.

And yet...


Paul Birmingham
237 Posted 17/03/2020 at 19:19:30
Despite the clamour and nothing but garbage facts to vent their claim, the RS and The Echo Rot, winces, won’t surely win.

The same issues are prevalent across all UK Leagues and Europe.

Celtic will be thinking they’ve got the SPL, in the bag by default, Rangers will believe, with their games in hand they still have a chance.

The European Championships are pinned back a year, this doesn’t make it a space to finish the EPL, or any other league.

BAU, life in the UK, is facing unprecedented challenges these coming months, possibly quarters..

Health of the nations people is more important than football titles.

There’s a time and place for football, and sadly but rightfully so, now nor in the imminent future is not the time.

Tough, and that’s life.

Jamie Crowley
238 Posted 17/03/2020 at 19:40:17
Jay -

Great article. I actually copied the link to my wife to read.

I was thinking about us Americans in regards to all this.

With the introduction of the EPL to American society about 15 years ago or so, and it now consuming many of us, and it's wide (VAST) availability here in the States, us Americans are literally surrounded in our waking hours with sport.

For a typical weekend - Wake, EPL or Euro International footy. Every game. Covers you from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. with something to watch. Lunch - Basketball, Baseball, NFL, MLS, NCAA Football, pick your poison depending on the season / time of year. Night - NFL, more baseball, more hoops, more footy, and the NHL who plays the large majority of their games in the evening.

It's like being completely surrounded by something you love, and POOF! It's gone.

One of my favorite times of the year is April through end of May-ish. The NHL playoffs are pure gold. The drama is simply intense - I've gotten nervous watching games my beloved Boston Bruins aren't even playing in!

It's all gone. It'll come back. But man you just don't know a good thing 'till it's gone.

Chin up, as you were, plod on, we'll get through.

Tony A - thanks mate. Be well.

Andy Crooks
239 Posted 17/03/2020 at 20:50:40
Thanks for that link, Jay.
Liam Reilly
240 Posted 18/03/2020 at 21:30:17
They can't be handed the title for something they may have won. Even if the season resumes and they win their next 2 games, they still shouldn't be handed the title until all games are completed.

You can't have one winner in a ghost season but everything else void.

As Carlo Ancelotti has rightly stated, this is a global catastrophe and football should be the last thing on our minds.

Cancel the season; null and void and all summer tournaments to boot; so everyone can have one single focus; to stop the spread of the disease.

John Boon
241 Posted 19/03/2020 at 15:16:23
Eddie Dunn (211)... While I have some sympathies for all those names you have listed in your post, I would reserve my serious concerns for the ordinary run of the mill employees who have lost their jobs and along with it "vital income".
The likes of Michael Owen etc should have been well provided for by their huge incomes they have made playing football. If they didn't invest sensibly they can only blame themselves.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
242 Posted 22/03/2020 at 21:21:42
I am thinking this one out and I think they should just give them the title and start again in August.

If they finish the season then they will have won the title.

If they don't finish the season then it will always be with the asterisk that the season was not completed and they were handed the title.

I know which one will give us the most leverage in the future.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
243 Posted 22/03/2020 at 21:25:38
Andy #226 and not just any air raid, the last one on Liverpool in January 1942.

You always hope Wiki is true. Seems more people killed by bombing in Liverpool than anywhere else except London. And of course the story about Hitler's half-brother's old house.

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