Derby date set as 'Project Restart' firms up

Thursday, 4 June, 2020 80comments  |  Jump to last

Updated Everton's delayed Premier League fixture against Liverpool is scheduled to go ahead in 16 days' time via Sky free-to-view broadcast.

Originally planned for mid-March, the derby was postponed when the Premier League was suspended amid the coronavirus crisis but the two teams will now kick off at 7 pm on Sunday 21 June. The match will be broadcast live on Sky Pick channel but it has not yet been agreed where it will take place.

In the interim, Liverpool City Council's Safety Advisory Group will meet this coming Monday to confirm that the match will be played behind closed doors at Goodison and not at a neutral venue.

In a meeting of the Premier League clubs yesterday, it was agreed that teams can use five substitutes for the remainder of the season while an increase in the number of players on the bench from seven to nine was also passed by vote.

Premier League fixtures for the first few rounds of the restarted season are firming up. All 92 remaining games will be televised live on a World Cup-style staggered schedule every day and carried by Sky Sports, BT, Amazon and the BBC, starting with the two games that were originally moved because of the League Cup Final — Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal, both on 17 June.

Everton's later matches are tentatively scheduled as follows:

Norwich City (A), 6:00 pm, 24 June (BBC)

Leicester City (H); 6:00 pm, 1 July (Sky Sports)

Scheduling beyond that has not been finalised and the initial three rounds of games are also subject to further change but the loose line-up for the Blues' outstanding games is as follows.

Tottenham Hotspur (A) — July 3-6

Southampton (H)July 7-9

Wolves (A)July 10-13

Aston Villa (H) — July 14-16

Sheffield United (A) — July 18-19

 

Reader Comments (80)

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Brian Harrison
2 Posted 04/06/2020 at 10:31:06
Still no decision on where the derby will take place, and it could be Goodison, Villa Park or Wembley. If the results in Germany are anything to go by playing away seems to be an advantage rather than playing at home.

Regarding fans turning up at games, I see over 300 Porto fans travelled to Familicao for their away game in Portugal yesterday. Now I know the death rate in Portugal is low compared to the UK, but if anyone thinks it won't happen here is deluding themselves. The question then becomes: If this does happen, what happens next?

Martin Berry
3 Posted 04/06/2020 at 11:23:31
Thanks for this information.
Eugene Ruane
4 Posted 04/06/2020 at 12:11:49
.
Let me first say..

Liverpool were/are the best team in the PL by a long way.

And had it not been for Covid thingy, they'd have almost definitely won the title (by a mile) months ago.

I also think Klopp is a terrific 'football man' and though he can occasionally irritate, I think he's generally a good egg and a brilliant motivator and manager.

(yes there is a 'but' coming).

But I think the season should have been declared void and personally won't be recognising whoever is declared the 'winners'.

'WELL YOU WOULD SAY THAT YOU BIASED BLUENOSE CU.." blah.

Not so and here's why.

I believe any contest (ANY!) has to finish with ALL the competitors playing with the same rules at the finish as they started with.

Once a team (or teams) is given an advantage of any sort after the start before the competition, it fails to be legitimate..imo

"YEAH WELL IT WILL BE THE SAME!."

Really?

Here's something we'd all agree on - when people refer to 'home advantage', the advantage bit of that is us, the crowd.

I mean if you get a home draw in the FA cup and think 'great - home advantage!' the advantage isn't 'great our players won't have to travel', it's 'great let's get them in front of our supporters, frighten the life out of them" etc.

And that's what Liverpool had in the derby at Anfield and what we won't have in the derby at Goodison.

That's an advantage they had and we'll be denied.

The rules are now different and to their advantage.

'Yeah but yooz are shite, we'd 'ave pissed it anyway, yuz just can't stand us winning."

People can Vicky Pollard all they like and call me biased etc blah, but it's not the case.

I'm 60 and know a good/great side when I see one and when all is fair, I'll say so.

But any advantage/change after the start makes the whole thing, for me, void.


Liam Reilly
5 Posted 04/06/2020 at 12:25:17
Can see it starting but can't see it finishing.

If one first team player gets the virus, then that sides games are going to have to be rearranged whilst their players isolate for 14 days.

Also, because the symptoms are not immediately noticeable, anyone that’s been in close contact with the individual should isolate also. Is that not every player, staff and official that they've recently played against?


Michael Lynch
6 Posted 04/06/2020 at 12:37:46
Well said Eugene @4.

It's one thing to acknowledge the Shite as the best team in the PL by a mile this season, but it's another thing entirely to finish a competition under different rules than it started. Or to have a break of three months between games, for that matter, and extra subs.

It's win on paper for them. Give them a paper trophy.

Paul Birmingham
7 Posted 04/06/2020 at 12:57:29
Spot on Eugene.
Jamie Crowley
8 Posted 04/06/2020 at 13:11:27
Eugene -

Under the circumstances there's nothing the league can do. Despite some outrage and emotion, the EPL has an economic reality dictating they have to finish the season.

Whether or not the rs are playing at an empty Goodison, or against what should be our "advantage game" due to the crowd and thereby favor us, it doesn't make the competition invalid.

Why you ask? Because Liverpool will not play in front of their fans for how many games?

All teams will end up playing a similar number of games (similar enough for me at any rate) where they will not realize their home-field advantage. So they are all suffering from that dynamic relatively the same amount. There's a difference between a landscape that necessitates change, and ensures the change is the same for all teams participating compared to a situation where only a few teams have implemented changes that favor them unfairly.

Saying that, I'm sure there's a retort and an angle I've not thought of to my point. If you're inclined, I'd be interested in your rebuttal to the above.

For me, it's simple. The season will finish, there's nothing illegitimate about it - it's just "different" but it's "different" for all the Clubs.

They are going to win it. They deserve to in an honest moment. CV19 and the necessary changes implemented to finish this season won't change that for me.

Tim Welsh
9 Posted 04/06/2020 at 13:25:59
This season was null and void long before Covid-19.

VAR has been another corruption of a once noble sport.

Jack Convery
10 Posted 04/06/2020 at 13:28:12
La La Land footie - end of. Not for me.
Billy Roberts
11 Posted 04/06/2020 at 13:40:39
Liam @5,

That's a question I and others have asked on TW recently. Are the clubs and professional footballers exempt from the guidance and civic duties of track and trace?

I am still unsure of the answer. If they are, it is clearly unacceptable to the rest of society.

Jamie @8,

If it's legitimate but just different, shouldn't the prize be legitimate but different then also?

Michael @6 was being unfair giving them a paper trophy. (What if it rains on their open-top bus parade?) How about one of those white plastic ones of a footballer you could paint yourself?

Not sure you had them in the USA, Jamie, but trust me that would be spot on.

Danny Baily
12 Posted 04/06/2020 at 13:59:24
5 subs, might as well have 60 minute matches while we're at it.

The more the rules and circumstances alter, the cheaper their coronation becomes. Keep the changes coming I say!

Derek Thomas
13 Posted 04/06/2020 at 14:08:39
Eugene @4; With you all the way, (as you mentioned) - but.

Klopp may be good at the footy motivation and such, but he is not a good egg, he just appears to be.

His face / body language in the Ball Boy World Cup jibe showed, he was a quarter a second from hauling off and lamping him good style.

John Keating
14 Posted 04/06/2020 at 14:14:34
The clubs are having a chat today about what to do if, after restarting, the Premier League has to be called off. Maybe that will be 10 minutes after the RS clinch the league...

The authorities constantly talk about keeping the "integrity" of the Premier League. As Eugene has mentioned in his post, I see no "integrity" on what is happening so far apart from the main motivator... money.

In my opinion, whilst there are still hundreds of people dying per day and hundreds more getting the virus, the absolute last thing we should be discussing is starting any form of group/contact sport.

Regardless of what we hope for, there will be people congregating at games. Players and staff will contract the virus. Thousands more citizens will die, but hey, not to worry as long as Sky and BT are happy... oh yes, and the neighbours.

Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 04/06/2020 at 14:16:21
It is not about who is the best team, or the most deserving team, or who most probably would have won, or if it has been run on a level playing field, or a need to finish a season. It is about the money which seems to be all that is agreed upon by all clubs – to the detriment of anything else.
Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 04/06/2020 at 14:38:28
Eugene (4), I understand all your points, but to me, that 25-point advantage Liverpool have over their nearest rivals makes all the difference to me. They won the league at the end of February in my eyes and I will acknowledge that to the genuine match going Red fans that I know.

I'll argue the toss with the thousands of armchair Sky Red shites who have been self-isolating from Anfield for the last 30 years or more. I would love to agree with you, Eugene, but I can't honestly do so on this occasion. I know your style, Eugene, so I'm glad that won't bother you!!

Kieran Kinsella
18 Posted 04/06/2020 at 14:45:12
Jamie

“Relatively” and “similar enough” aren't adequate to me in a sport where millimetres make a difference in a goal being given or disallowed.

Each club is at a different stage in its own fixture list. For example, if you've already played your relegation six-pointers away from home in front of a partisan crowd but now play your “home” games in front of no-one, then you're at a disadvantage.

So yes, money dictates it must finish as best it can but whoever is relegated, whoever just misses out on Europe, will have legitimate cause to complain the season wasn't fair.

Patrick McFarlane
19 Posted 04/06/2020 at 15:03:51
According to reports:

BOE Scheme

Tottenham have borrowed £175million from the Bank of England to ease the pressure on the clubs finances brought on by the coronavirus crisis, according to reports.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected clubs financially up and down the football pyramid with no income from matchday revenue due to games being cancelled and put behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.

According to The Athletic, Spurs have taken advantage of the government's Covid Corporate Financing Facility. It provides them with an 'unsecured loan repayable in full at a rate of 0.5 per cent interest'.

Tottenham declared a £69million profit last year, and their revenue of more than £460m makes them the eighth largest club in the world, according to Deloitte's rankings. The club's owner, Joe Lewis, is reported to be worth £4.3billion.

On a Spurs related webpage:

THS has met the criteria set by the Bank of England for the CCFF and has issued £175m of Commercial Paper through this facility.

The CCFF is designed to provide short-term loans at commercial rates during the pandemic and is available to companies that have a strong investment grade rating and make a material contribution to the British economy.

The global pandemic has created unprecedented economic and social challenges and the entertainment sector has been particularly affected. We are yet to see the full extent and duration of the economic impact. As of today, it is unclear when there will be a return to spectator-attended live events.

Due to the significance of income from matchday, conferencing and third party live events such as concerts and other sports, our estimated revenue loss, including broadcast rebates, may exceed £200m for the period to June, 2021.

The facility, which will not be used for player acquisitions, has been arranged to ensure we have financial flexibility and additional working capital during these challenging times. The Club has opened a multi-use venue designed to deliver diversified revenue streams and created jobs, homes and schools as part of the regeneration of our neighbourhood. We are ever-conscious of the responsibility we bear to ensure the future stability of our Club for all stakeholders and, in doing so, support our communities and our continued investment in the area.

Spurs Eligible

Form an orderly queue Premier League executives we'll award the loans based on extremely stringent criteria!

John Keating
20 Posted 04/06/2020 at 15:25:56
Patrick,

Unsecured loan at 0.5% interest from the BoE no less.

Let's get in early and get that new stadium financed.

Andrew Haizelden
22 Posted 04/06/2020 at 16:06:23
John at 14. I have always thought that, as soon as they clinch the title, the option to void will be used at the earliest excuse.
Frank Crewe
23 Posted 04/06/2020 at 16:40:07
Don't really care anymore. Sound effects and cardboard fans. Seems more like a video game than proper football.
Tony Everan
24 Posted 04/06/2020 at 16:52:05
Spurs £175M @ 0.5%...

Good job Farhad has not signed any contracts yet, I doubt he will be able to better that deal from the BoE.

Fire up the JCBs, the stadium is on its way.


That's unless the Governor is a Spurs fan and we are not considered worthy.

Danny ONeill
25 Posted 04/06/2020 at 17:26:21
No one can deny the red cousins their deservedness of the title. They were the best team in the league by a mile and the inevitability of them confirming that was 2 games away.

Interesting the league were planning for a potential termination of the season today despite the restart. Now, that could mean a number of things, but 2 spring to mind:

1. Genuine contingency planning in the event of a second spike.

2. They still know this might have to be called off but want to claw back as much TV revenue as they can in the interim.

I'll be honest, I'm no expert on football finances, or how / when they get paid and there will be many more on here that are, so my second point is speculative guess.

Eugene Ruane
26 Posted 04/06/2020 at 17:59:27
.
Jamie - #8

As I stated, my choice would have been to simply make the whole thing void which I feel would have been a legitimate response given a set of circumstances/event that very very few could have foreseen and that has killed tens of thousands (nb: and continues to) all over the world.

'That wouldn't be fair on Liverpool'?

Fine, end the season and simply give them the trophy (see Scottish Premier League). If they want to call themselves champions, fine.

"Yeah but they want to win it properly."

Empty grounds means 'properly' simply isn't going to happen.

It's not.

You say - 'All teams will end up playing a similar number of games (similar enough for me at any rate) where they will not realize their home-field advantage. So they are all suffering from that dynamic relatively the same amount.'

From a debating view it's a decent point, but (again purely for the purpose of debate) 'relatively the same amount' isn't good enough (imo).

From an integrity perspective (?), in a league where the tiniest advantage could mean tens of millions lost/won/relegation etc, not good enough.

But a bigger point..

To be honest, 99% of all talk of restarting football asap has done my head in.

Very early on, I heard a doctor say "Remember this virus doesn't move around, WE move it around."

And in recent weeks I've heard people (including our staggeringly useless and untrustworthy government) talk of the virus as one might a temperamental teen one has to tread carefully around but who will hopefully get bored and go to his/her room and leave us alone.

This virus doesn't give a shite if we're bored or want a barbecue or a bronzy or to lie on the grass in Caldies and do... whatever the fuck they do with them silver soda-syphon gas things.

And it deffo doesn't give a shite if (as according to every gobshite on the BBC) the return of football will 'give everyone a boost' (everyone = our ratings).

I hope by some fluke this awful poxy virus vanishes or someone discovers that if you have 6 pints of Guinness, followed by a sausage dinner, it kills the virus for good.

But none of that is likely and so it's up to us (all) to not move the virus around.

I think generally we're failing at that and think restarting football right now will mean failing even more.

I hope I've never been more wrong but it's worth reminding ourselves (regularly) that the virus is just as much of a killer, just as lethal and dangerous today as it was on the first day of lockdown.

It doesn't give a fuck if we're bored or for that matter, who 'wins' the league.

Up the Toffees!


Brian Wilkinson
27 Posted 04/06/2020 at 18:27:16
Within a week, our neighbours could have the title sewn up, two weeks maximum. They can then take their front line squad out of danger and play second-string fringe players for the remainder of the season.

Once they have that title, do you really think they will put their star players at risk? That is why restarting gives only one team an advantage. Even cancelling the league after a week or so will not matter to them, it will all be over by then.

They even have the luxury of 5 subs, for those few games. So I'm with you, Eugene, it is not a case of being bitter, just the fact all the other teams will have to finish the season, whether for euro spots or relegation, fielding full-strength teams, while a certain team can take a back seat and not risk having to field a full-strength team.

John McFarlane Snr
28 Posted 04/06/2020 at 19:26:32
Hi Dave [17],

I was thinking last night of all the changes that you, I, and others of our generation have seen in our time:

The introduction and removal of the obstruction offence, introduced in 1948, I don't know when it was abandoned.

The apparent removal of the indirect free-kick.

The many changes to the offside law.

Goalkeepers being allowed to move before a penalty kick is taken.

The ball being allowed to be passed backward from the kick-off>

Goals being allowed direct from the kick-off.

The abolition of extra time and replays in some fixtures.

The penalty shoot-out.

The introduction of 1 substitute in the event of injury, often abused, followed by 2 subs for injury or tactical reasons.

The present 3 from 5, for injury or tactical reasons.

And now the farcical idea of 5 subs in three operations.

The VAR and goal-line technology.

The referee's 'shaving cream' brought out at free-kicks.

The latter two the only ones, in my opinion, that have improved the game. I may have overlooked some other alterations.

We can hark back to the days when the League programme was completed later than the FA Cup Final, and fixtures were staged on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday, and Easter Monday.

The pre floodlight days of the 3:15 pm kick off which gradually moved back to as early as 2:00 pm in the winter months.

The days when the practise match, Blues [Probables] versus Whites [Possibles] was the only pre-season fixture.

"It's football, Dave, but not as we knew it."

Brian Harrison
29 Posted 04/06/2020 at 19:45:56
The Premier League were always going to fulfil as best they could their obligation to finish the season, no matter what. The clubs have agreed to finish the season, even the players who were reluctant to the season finishing are back in training. So, right or wrong, whether we like it or not, it's going ahead.

I find it rather strange that, after today's meeting, although they have agreed our game will take place at 7:00 pm on Sunday 21st, they can't say where it will be played. So why wasn't this decided today? They can tell us when and it will be on Sky Sports but not where.

As for finishing the season because of integrity, there is no integrity left. Let's not forget now or in the future that Liverpool and Spurs were 2 of the first clubs to try and get us as taxpayers to pay their staff 80% of their wages. Liverpool – who boasted that they had made £200 million profit in the last 2 seasons – couldn't pay their minimum wage employees without help from the taxpayer. Forget they rescinded it when even their own fans turned against them, that was their moral compass.

As for the integrity of finishing the season, well, I can't think of another season with 9 or 10 games left where they change the rules. No VAR, neutral venues, 5 subs allowed. This is all about money, nothing else and certainly not integrity.

I see that some of the teams outside the Premier League have taken pay cuts to help their clubs out, so why haven't the richest set of players offered to do the same? I have seen a lot of Premier League players tweeting in the last couple of days how they have put signed shirts up for auction, as if by putting their signature on a shirt that probably the club paid for is a real big thing.

As I have asked before, why has nobody said how much these players have raised for the NHS? This scheme was set up weeks ago yet we've not heard anything about how much the fund has accrued. I would have thought seeing a man nearing 100 walking in his back garden could give daily updates of how much he had raised, surely these players must have someone overlooking the fund could give us an idea how much has been raised? INTEGRITY don't make me laugh.

Finally, I saw a graph the other day showing what percentage of money earned from clubs goes to pay player wages. Sadly Everton came out on top at 85% of income is used to pay wages, totally unsustainable. I can't think of another industry where the workers take home 85% of a company's revenue.

Tony Hill
30 Posted 04/06/2020 at 19:53:56
I think Eugene's general point is right. Above all, it's just wrong and vulgar to complete the season now; it doesn't fit the moment. Any title Liverpool get will be tainted accordingly. A sporting misfortune, no doubt, but so what?

Too much, I know, to have expected some respectful sacrifice by the Premier League, The Championship, their teams and, above all, the greedy media – but it would have been the proper response.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
32 Posted 04/06/2020 at 21:02:28
The full slate of games for Matchweek 30 is as follows:

Friday, 19 June:
Norwich vs Southampton, 6:00 pm (Sky Sports)
Tottenham vs Manchester Utd, 8:00 pm (Sky Sports)

Saturday, 20 June:
Watford vs Leicester, 12:30 pm (BT Sport)
Brighton vs Arsenal, 3:00 pm (BT Sport)
West Ham vs Wolves, 5:30 pm (Sky Sports)
Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace, 7:45pm (BBC)

Sunday, 21 June:
Newcastle v Sheffield Utd, 2:00 pm (Sky Sports)
Aston Villa v Chelsea, 4:30 pm (Sky Sports)
Everton vs Liverpool, 7:00 pm (Sky Sports)

Monday, 22 June:
Man City vs Burnley, 8:00 pm (Sky Sports)

Please, for my sanity and as a mark of respect to those whose have died, can we stifle any talk of Liverpool outside of the derby on Sunday? This is an Everton website.

John Wright
33 Posted 04/06/2020 at 21:15:17
Eugene, you had me worried briefly with your initial post!! You have nailed it and one day I'll buy you a pint in The Brick for the second post, brilliant mate. Have you or did you have a relative called Peter Ruane?
Andy Riley
34 Posted 04/06/2020 at 21:39:18
Why is anyone surprised? I can think of many precedents if changing the rules at mid-point in something simply to suit Liverpool and disadvantage Everton.

The most recent is when Liverpool win the European Cup in 2005 and there was no provision for the winners to enter the following season. Guess what: they changed the rules and brought a referee out of retirement to ensure that Everton wouldn't reach the Group stages!

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 04/06/2020 at 21:51:52
John (28), very good post about all the changes we have seen in the last 70 years, hardly any of them for the better.

John, you forgot about the technology changes... remember the amazement when they introduced white balls near the end of games in the winter months and orange balls when teams played on snow?

Not forgetting the half-time scoreboard becoming obsolete when transistor radios came out, fella's with one of them would be surrounded by about 50 fans at reserve team games waiting for him to tell you how the first team were getting on. He was king of the manor for an hour on those days; now, everything is relayed seconds after it has happened.

Going to the away games by steam trains and the lights failing on the train when it slowed down on the way home. Talking to the players on buses and trains before and after the game, now they've got bodyguards to stop you breathing on them.

I'll have to stop, John, or I'll start swearing and I don't want to upset you. See you soon hopefully, John.

Peter Mills
36 Posted 04/06/2020 at 22:10:18
I don’t have much appetite for the resumption of football. But if it’s going to happen, I sincerely hope our team will try very, very hard to beat the rs.
Christy Ring
37 Posted 04/06/2020 at 22:25:45
Eugene @4, I disagree with you regarding Klopp, all smiles when everything goes their way, but a completely different person when they don't get the rub of the green. He's got away with berating the 4th official, and the ref, unlike Mourinho, and can be very snotty in interviews, with no Shergar smile.
Eugene Ruane
38 Posted 04/06/2020 at 22:31:08
John #33 - My (late) dad was Peter.

And I've a cousin (my dad's brother's lad) called Peter who now lives in Canada (who I remember as a miserable twat who'd be about 66 I think).

Mike Doyle
39 Posted 04/06/2020 at 22:50:40
Like many on here, I'm struggling to get excited about the return of the Premier League – and watching a few minutes of the German league played in eerily quiet stadiums has hardly whetted the appetite.
Tom Barton
40 Posted 04/06/2020 at 23:48:25
Eugene @ 26, you are right in your final full paragraph, please allow me to add why I agree.

The virus and bunch of shambolic pricks called the government have joined force in denying me one the most important few seconds of my life, that of a Dad hugging his daughter after being told she is expecting her first child, a private moment for me to treasure for the rest of my life, simply gone because of 'social distance'.

And yet, the Premier League twats and government have agreed the following, that at least 22 semi-strangers, and more, are allowed to meet face-to-face, talk and hug, spit on each other whilst exhaling in a 'tackle', plus a shit-load more, and this is acceptable????

Why is football being allowed to resume when our normal lives are not, when people are falling ill and dying daily???

This is a shameful decision, fueled by both greed and ignorance. The season is irrelevant and void, it is also a total and utter fucking insult to our NHS, emergency services, care workers and everyone that has given their time and indeed their lives.

Shame on the Premier League and government for this shitshow, twats.

Also, fuck the red shite, I couldn't give a toss about their 'situation'... twats.

John McFarlane Snr
41 Posted 05/06/2020 at 00:25:01
Hi Dave [35],

A couple of other things that I forgot: the ride on the back of a coal lorry to the game, and for those who rode to the match on bikes the people who made a couple of bob, by minding the bikes in the back yard.

I did say that I may have overlooked some alterations, I think it's an age thing, but you'll find that out in August.

Bob Parrington
42 Posted 05/06/2020 at 02:43:05
Eugene@4 - Very well stated! As I've mentioned before, there is no integrity in the continuation behind closed doors that means teams have had home advantage with their crowds before Covid-19 and now play away with the opposition not having its home crowd support.

Another point is, yes – the RS would likely have won the league. However, they were on their first bad run of results and this stoppage could not have come at a better time for them. Agree with you about Cliperty, too. He can be a prick at times but he knows how to put a winning team together.

Jay Harris
43 Posted 05/06/2020 at 04:05:24
I'm surprised no-one has picked up on the timing of this game.

7pm on a Sunday night and they expect people to comply with social distancing after drinking all day.

This has been set up by the media who want the RS to win the league at Goodison Park and the cameras will pick up the wild celebrations.

Just watch Man City get some dodgy decisions against them and the Devil's spawn against us too.

To quote that little rs Keegan, "I would just love it if we beat them."

John Boon
44 Posted 05/06/2020 at 04:57:48
I just don't even see the point of really discussing the idiocy of continuing a season four months after the last game was played. It is really a ten-game mini-season which means nothing to 90% of the teams and fans. Covid-19 was and still is a dreadful and unexpected interruption to a season.

Whatever the final placements, some teams will feel they were shafted. There are bound to be endless complaints, possible lawsuits along with contract problems and some teams going broke. There is nothing to look forward to. Covid-19 is a worldwide pandemic. World Wars I and II resulted in seasons being cancelled for many years. Why this one should need to be completed is beyond common sense.

Personally, I can only look forward to next season when we can all get to see the 27 new players we will have signed. That is according to gossip.

David Woodworth
45 Posted 05/06/2020 at 06:04:40
Brian (29),

A very good sensible post.

Alan J Thompson
46 Posted 05/06/2020 at 06:21:31
John (#28); And goalkeepers being bundled into the net to not being touched in the air, never mind blocking a run up to kick or throw the ball. Various changes on what they can and can't do with back passes albeit they still can't work out if they are allowed to bounce the ball and how long 6 seconds is.
Eric Myles
47 Posted 05/06/2020 at 07:06:06
John Snr. and now we have several enforced weekends of no footy because meaningless international friendlies take priority over real football.

And you also forgot the change from the good old casey to these modern technology balloons. And let's not get started on the footwear, or the pitches!

Danny ONeill
48 Posted 05/06/2020 at 07:16:44
Christy (37), I've said this a lot. Let's see Klopp under pressure when things don't go so well. Many here don't realise that his final season with Dortmund was characterised by what us Evertonians would call "doing a Moyes".

Dortmund had a shocking first half of the season and went into the winter break in 17th place, and very much flirting with relegation. A strong "Ruckenrunde" after the break saw them claw back into 7th, but this was a team who's previous 3 seasons read: Champions, Runners Up, Runners Up.

I'm with you. I suspect he's what we see now when it's going well, but we have seen small glimpses of his sulky outbursts when they're not. I'm not suggesting that it isn't normal winner mentality to hate losing, but let's be honest, it's never going to be as good as they've had it the past 2 seasons, so it will be interesting to observe when it's not.

Eddie Dunn
49 Posted 05/06/2020 at 08:25:22
On the subject of Klopp, I have always considered him a control freak, a manipulator and a ego maniac. One rule for him, running on pitches, mocking refereeing decisions etc. The Klopp-lovers like to overlook his sinister puppetmastery. When it goes wrong, it will go very ugly.
Danny ONeill
50 Posted 05/06/2020 at 08:59:04
Agree Eddy, what I was trying to bring out was if you look at his character, we've already seen glimpses of his ability to combust easily. Like a dormant Volcano, it may have years of calmness but when it does erupt, it's spectacular melt-down time!
Lenny Kingman
51 Posted 05/06/2020 at 09:02:15
Jim Morrison saw weird scenes inside a goldmine. Well that will pale into insignificance compared to the weird scenes outside Goodison Park on midsummer's night. To paraphrase Shakespeare, a midsummer night's dream could turn into a midsummer nightmare.
Dave Abrahams
52 Posted 05/06/2020 at 09:09:39
Eugene (38),

You've started my day with me laughing out loud with talking about your cousin “Who I remember as a miserable twat” – brilliant that, Eugene. I've heard he's coming home to visit you once this virus clears up!!!

Joe McMahon
53 Posted 05/06/2020 at 09:17:19
We could play Liverpool B team with 90 thousand Everton fans and no Liverpool fans at Wembley and still lose. It's so hard to take that last like we beat them Arteta and Cahill scored.

And as for the Anfield record, it's just a joke for supporters of other clubs. I work near Manchester and the piss taking is endless.

Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 05/06/2020 at 09:19:05
John (41),

I just remembered a story about when the white balls were first introduced...

Everton were playing Man City at Maine Road and getting hammered. Ken Barnes, the City right half, had scored THREE penalties!

The referee wasn't up to much... Yes, WE used to get them even long ago.

The light was getting darker and after one of City's goals Don Donavon said to the ref, “Referee, you need to bring the white ball on.”

Dave Hickson close by said, “It's not a white ball he needs, it's a fucking white stick!”

Davie was promptly sent off.

Dave Abrahams
55 Posted 05/06/2020 at 09:28:04
Eddie (49) and Danny (50), it's in Klopp's DNA to go stark raving ranting mad, he's Hitler's great-grandson.
Eugene Ruane
56 Posted 05/06/2020 at 10:00:31
Dave #52 - re cousin Peter, when I was about 10, on Saturday evenings, we'd go to his mam and dad's house off Smithdown (Clairmont Road).

My dad and his brother would go for a pint, my mam and auntie would talk the hind legs off donkeys (while drinking gallons of tea and smoking Embassy No 6) and me, my brother and sisters would watch Dr Who, The Monkees etc with our cousins (cakes, sweets – it was boss).

Then about 6:30 pm our Peter would arrive home from work, ALWAYS with a narked puss on him.

He was a mechanic and would come home from work (at the age of about 17) covered in grease with an attitude that suggested he'd spent the day splitting the atom instead of fiddling under the bonnet of a Vauxhall fucking Viva.

He'd demand (and get!) his tea, switch over the telly and generally grunt and tut and bollock us kids and behave like a twat.

Eventually (and to our relief) he'd get a swill, put on a pair of loons and a velvet Jacket and go... wherever 17-year-old mechanics went on Saturday evenings in the late 1960s.

So, regarding getting a post-lockdown visit from him to sort me out, well he had his chance in 1968, 69, 70 (now I'd fucking paste the big miserable grock).

By the way, he had NO interest in football – how odd was THAT in 1960s Liverpool?

Eddie Dunn
57 Posted 05/06/2020 at 10:03:47
Eric @47, considering changes in the rules... the rule changes actually lead to changes in the sort of people who can play the game.

Take Rugby Union: this morning I heard a guy from that sport talking on the radio about how the game needs speeding-up. Eddie Jones has said it is in danger of becoming like American Football with all of the stoppages at scrums etc.

In a typical game lasting 80 mins, the players are often out on the pitch for 110 mins, with injuries, lineouts pens etc, yet the actual time spent running and passing can be as little as 35 mins. This has enabled huge men to play the game. The large amount of subs as enabled these giants to take part as they rarely need to run for long.

Football is now including 5 subs. Used effectively, this could actually have the opposite effect on the injury situation. The chance to keep the match going at a very high tempo can be achieved by swapping tired pacey wingers with more of the same, leaving defenders knackered, more likely to overstretch or pull a hammy etc. Before we know it, 5 subs will become the norm. Impact players will have more of a role, just like Eddie's "Finishers" in Rugby.

There will be unseen consequences of these rule changes and of course there are bound to be implications for everyone as we all know that some mindless numbskulls will definitely go to grounds, even to stand outside.

Klopp recently mentioned how thoughtful his Liverpool fans are. They wouldn't cause any problems. I would hazard a guess that our neighbours are the most likely lot to flout the rules and turn-up at Goodison in large numbers with their customary flares and fireworks.

Dave Abrahams
58 Posted 05/06/2020 at 10:12:02
Eugene (56), I'm still chuckling at your description of him, read it out loud to my wife, she burst out laughing, then she says “Remember so and so, he was a barrel of fun wasn't he?”

I remembered a couple more miserable bastards, they didn't realise how funny they were, and you just waited for them to grumble and moan and get it out of their system.

Two or three I knew could go on for fuckin' hours with never a kind word for anyone. It takes all sorts, Eugene, thanks again for starting me off with a big laugh.

Paul Burns
59 Posted 05/06/2020 at 12:03:56
No-one won the league this year. It didn't finish and it doesn't matter whose ahead in a race if it didn't finish.

Everton have to refuse to continue. I'm forever reading on here how noble our club is. Well let them do the right thing, stand up for themselves and us for once and refuse to participate in this charade that football and footballers are more important than health and lives in this country.

For God's sake, cancer clinics haven't even been allowed to open yet.

Don't play, tell the selfish, money-grubbing parasites at Sky and the Premier League that we are not concerned in their tawdry, bend-over-backwards-for-Liverpool disgrace.

Michael Kenrick
60 Posted 05/06/2020 at 12:35:48
And here's the list of free-to-air games in the first three rounds:

Friday 19 June, Norwich vs Southampton, 6pm kick-off, Sky Sports/Pick
Saturday 20 June, Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace, 7:45pm, BBC
Sunday 21 June, Newcastle vs Sheffield United, 2pm, Sky Sports/Pick
Sunday 21 June, Everton vs Liverpool, 7pm, Sky Sports/Pick
Wednesday 24 June, Manchester United vs Sheffield United, 6pm, Sky Sports/Pick
Wednesday 24 June, Norwich vs Everton, 6pm, BBC
Thursday 25 June, Burnley vs Watford, 6pm, Sky Sports/Pick
Sunday 28 June, Watford vs Southampton, 4:30pm, Sky Sports/Pick
Monday 29 June, Crystal Palace vs Burnley, 8pm, Amazon Prime Video
Tuesday 30 June, Brighton vs Manchester United, 8:15pm, Sky Sports/Pick
Wednesday 1 July, Bournemouth vs Newcastle, 6pm, Sky Sports/Pick

Kim Vivian
61 Posted 05/06/2020 at 12:49:47
The rs are not going to win the league on that Sunday night simply because we are going to beat them.
Danny Baily
62 Posted 05/06/2020 at 13:05:43
Resist the temptation to get roped into this farce. It's a coronation and I don't want to witness our part in it.
Michael Kenrick
63 Posted 05/06/2020 at 13:11:11
I'm not sure how to break this to you, Paul @59, but I don't think you – or any of the many on here advocating the same path – are going to get any joy going forward.

The season is restarting, and Everton will be a part of that. The chances of them refusing to play are zero. It's no dishonour to those who have sadly died, it has nothing to do with a host of political decisions taken (like closing cancer clinics) to 'save the NHS'... but at what cost?

Making it all about Liverpool is only making it worse than it needs to be. It's not all about them – otherwise, answer me this: Why is The Championship restarting as well? It's because they are all in business as football clubs and it goes without saying that playing eachother is central to their very existence.

So please, let's be big boys now, stop this childish incessant belliaching, and accept the inevitable. The Premier League is returning, the games will be competitive, the points will count towards the final league placings and – no matter what bar a rather large NEO – the Premier League will finish and there will be a winner.

John Raftery
64 Posted 05/06/2020 at 13:40:48
Well said, Michael.
Steve Brown
65 Posted 05/06/2020 at 13:53:38
Let's just get it over with. The league should have been voided due to the pandemic making playing football a frivolous nonsense, but commercial implications for clubs have trumped that. It has been fun watching them squirm when they thought it might be cancelled - they've been sweating for months.

They will get the trophy in an empty stadium applauded by one man and his dog and we can always use Ruane's logic to wind them up that they didn't win it properly. All that aside, they are a very good team, deserve the title and Klopp is a superb manager. He is also, in my opinion only, a decent bloke. Nothing wrong with him being a poor loser - we've had good losers for 35 years.

Robin Bateman
66 Posted 05/06/2020 at 14:21:17
No doubt the reds will win the Premier League this season, however you view it

But when they do this will still crack me up every time I see it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ockmBsjWCAM

Kevin Latham
67 Posted 05/06/2020 at 14:44:56
Off on a bit of a tangent here, but I know some of us are on Twitter. If you haven’t already seen it there was an absolute whopper on there last week or so - one of the out of town RS fans signed off with ‘YMCA’ instead of ‘YNWA’. I’m crap with these things so I couldn’t post a link. But you can imagine the stick that person took from our lads! Pics of the Village People all over the replies. Say what you like about them but their fans are always good for a laugh. Just stopped laughing at it myself.
Robert Williams
68 Posted 05/06/2020 at 15:47:42
In normal circumstances (pre-Covid-19) I would be agreeing wholeheartedly with Eugene – now, I just cannot be arsed with anything to do with football.
Jamie Abbott
69 Posted 05/06/2020 at 15:49:47
So has anyone been to the bookies to get odds on an Arsenal win and the reds getting a winner at Goodison with their fifth sub?
Sam Hoare
70 Posted 05/06/2020 at 15:51:35
Wish Gbamin had not got injured. I'd be excited to see what this team could do under Ancelotti with a great striker duo and a little athleticism in the middle (though granted it would have surely taken him time to settle in).

As it it feels that 8th-9th is about the best we can hope for. I'm hoping to see some more of Gordon and Kean. Maybe even some of Gibson, Onyango and Simms.

It's been too long since the end to a season felt genuinely exciting for Everton fans.

Jerome Shields
71 Posted 05/06/2020 at 15:58:49
They should have run a mini competition along side, to give added interest, using the same matches.
Tamhas Woods
73 Posted 05/06/2020 at 17:29:17
They'll let Liverpool win the necessary games then call it off (health reasons, we tried, blah blah blah) although they'll have their fingers crossed that it is the provincial trio of Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth in the drop zone.

Villa and West Ham still have some corporate clout I guess, even though they'll never be in the big society.

Shame we don't have enough points to skive off the next 9 fixtures (a la Boro) and still survive. Would rather lose 27 points, if inconsequential, than kick another ball in this ruin of a season.

Paul Jones
74 Posted 05/06/2020 at 17:36:28
Premier League 2019-20 will allows have ! / ? to follow. Whatever is done to legitimize the season will discredit the FA and winners so seems to be heading to a satisfactory conclusion for all those concerned who believe they now own the Premier League brand.
Rob Halligan
75 Posted 05/06/2020 at 19:08:33
Sorry if this has already been confirmed, but does anyone know where the derby game will be played? I assume it will be played at Goodison, seeing as the RS have been given clearance by Merseyside police to play their next game, against Crystal Palace at home, at Anfield.
John Wright
76 Posted 05/06/2020 at 19:33:56
Eugene, don't suppose your Dad would have been friendly with the O'Deas, Ford/Litherland area. . . ?
John Keating
77 Posted 05/06/2020 at 19:35:02
Rob
there might be an issue with the derby being played at home.
I understand the R is over 1 in the North West and I think that may trigger neutral venue well away.

Just as an aside and obviously of no interest to the football authorities or media friends. ONLY another 350 odd dead today, totally immaterial of course.

Rob Halligan
78 Posted 05/06/2020 at 19:47:32
John, I saw that on the BBC news, with both Liverpool and Manchester being the worst hit spots, which could force a local lockdown. Surely all five North West clubs will be forced to play all home games at neutral venues if that's the case?
Ian Jones
79 Posted 05/06/2020 at 22:16:05
Just a quick mention of the WSL 2019-20 season which has now been finished with quite a few matches left. Points per game resolved the final positions with Everton moving up into 6th place and Liverpool being relegated.
Ernie Baywood
80 Posted 05/06/2020 at 23:14:34
The integrity of this season's league was already compromised. The rules were changed throughout the season in terms of what VAR could and couldn't do.

Not we have a completely different set of rules.

This season will always have an asterisk. But I don't think you can deny Liverpool have been the best team. If the league gets finished then they'll deserve the title. They've dealt with the same crap everyone else has.

If it doesn't finish, I think it should be void.

Patrick McFarlane
81 Posted 05/06/2020 at 00:19:04
Ernie #80,

I agree with the majority of your post, however, I'm not sure that our neighbours have necessarily had the same crap to deal with as the rest of the Premier League. Impetus and momentum are crucial to any team wanting to win things and the various VAR decisions that went their way, both in their own matches and those of their rivals, throughout the early part of the season helped them considerably.

Add to that, the officals constantly treating their players like protected species and it's little wonder that they built up an almost unassailable lead, but we'll never know if they would have blown up during the run-in, because they have had the time to refresh and regroup since they lost a couple of games in short order.

I should add that I have no idea if they will be worthy champions or not as I haven't seen them play since they last appeared at Goodison in March 2019 when they looked pretty ordinary to me, but perhaps that was just an off day for them. It looks as if it will be some time before I see them play again, by which time some other club may be champions.

If they win it, fine – but I'm not going out of my way to offer them any praise because their fans believe that we are not worthy of them, and they have always believed that, even when we had a team that could win stuff.


Colin Gee
82 Posted 06/06/2020 at 02:15:00
Football without fans is nothing.

Normally I would be buzzing for the derby, once the re-arranged date had been announced, I would have checked my shifts at work, found that I am off and on lates on the Monday... Yet, with it being behind closed doors in a season that should have been voided, I just can't be arsed with it anymore.

It's like running a marathon but, after 20 miles, it gets stopped... then, 12 weeks later, everyone comes back, but the course has been changed. Instead of the last six miles being uphill, they are now downhill and some of the runners can take a shortcut as well. A total shambles.

Paul Birmingham
83 Posted 06/06/2020 at 09:17:47
Tom @40, I agree totally.

The government, “Do as I say, not as I do” mantra is stinking the country out.

Tony Abrahams
84 Posted 06/06/2020 at 10:01:41
That must have been an off day, Patrick, because when they lost to Atletico Madrid, I remember Michael Owen sitting in the studio after the game, looking like he was ready to burst into tears, and he was saying Liverpool are definitely the best team in Europe.

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