Liverpool should be crowned Premier League champions even if the season cannot be finished. That’s according to Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger who believes Jurgen Klopp’s side have every right to claim the trophy.
There is an alternate reality, where it is the first day of May, and Liverpool are preparing to travel to The Emirates to take on Arsenal. The chance of invincibility has gone, but the 100-point record is in their sight, and the opportunity to become the most dominant top-flight English champions of all time.
That isn’t happening, and there is no need to spell out why. That Liverpool is not planning to face the Gunners this weekend is the absolute correct decision; football simply cannot be played at this moment in time. In truth, the June 8 return date which seems to be openly discussed feels too soon; it is a logistical nightmare and potentially socially irresponsible, although the well-being of football clubs, and the people employed within it at every level, should be considered in this difficult time for all. It is not too dramatic to say football needs to return at some point, or some communities will not have a football team to return to.
When placing the situation into those terms, arguments over whether Liverpool should be crowned Premier League champions feels trite. But it is also important to a lot of people – and not just those who follow Jurgen Klopp’s men. It has become the hot topic of debate, even though Liverpool has been champions-elect for months, and it is actually the Premier League relegation (and subsequently, Championship promotion) picture which requires addressing more urgently. Yet Liverpool are the biggest story – understandable after waiting 30 years for a title – and all talk of what happens to this league season centres around that. This article will do likewise, although it is housed on a site called Liverpool.com, so I’m not sure what can be otherwise expected.
The debate revolves around three categories: finish 2019/20 when safe to do so, cancel the season and determine final placings (and crown champions) on sporting integrity, or void the season.
The North London clubs will miss out on European football completely, as the standings below show.
1. Liverpool – 2.83 points per game
2. Manchester City – 2.04
3. Leicester City – 1.83
4. Chelsea – 1.66
5. Manchester United – 1.55
6. Sheffield United – 1.54
7. Wolverhampton Wanderers – 1.48
8. Arsenal – 1.43
9. Spurs – 1.41
10. Burnley – 1.34
11. Crystal Palace – 1.34
12. Everton – 1.28
13. Newcastle United – 1.21
14. Southampton – 1.17
15. Brighton – 1.00
16. West Ham United – 0.93
17. Watford – 0.93
18. Bournemouth – 0.93
19. Aston Villa – 0.89
20. Norwich City – 0.72
Despite how the table would end up looking, it doesn’t mean that Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City would be relegated, as UEFA’s decision only applies to European qualification for next season.
The Premier League and Football League would be free to make their own decisions about promotion and relegation.
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