Athletic journalist David Ornstein has said there is “increasing unease among Premier League executives” that re-starting the season is even being discussed.
He added that after Karren Brady had called for the 19/20 season to be voided, a “chairman of another club” has said the season should be replayed from the start.
That could have a disastrous knock-on effect for Leeds United, with the Premier League unlikely to take additional teams from the Championship if they effectively scrap the season.
Increasing unease among some PL execs that resuming football even being discussed amid #coronavirus pandemic. After Brady/Barber notes of caution, chairman of another club tells @TheAthleticUK season should be replayed once safe regardless of consequences: https://t.co/0YiRGOIbu6
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) March 27, 2020
In the report on the Athletic, Ornstein says, “A number of Premier League clubs want to end the current season with immediate effect and replay it in full once it is deemed safe to do so — even if that means Liverpool being denied a first title in 30 years.
“One senior figure told The Athletic it is morally wrong for football to even be discussing playing behind closed doors while the coronavirus crisis is at its peak.
“‘You look at the people sitting around the Premier League table by Skype; their egos cannot sustain a mirror being held up to them,’ they said. ‘The fact is they are not as important as a Tesco delivery driver at this time. We run a game. No more, no less. There is no place for sport at the moment.'”
As far as playing games behind closed doors, Ornstein quoted a Premier League chairman as saying, “How can you play a contact sport that could result in injury and a highly-paid, highly-privileged individual having to go to hospital to be fixed, placing an even greater burden on the hospital system at a time when the virus is escalating? I just find it so insulting that we’re even talking this way; it’s just not important.”
The next Premier League meeting is set for April 3 and it doesn’t appear remotely likely that the situation in the UK will get any better by then.
The previous Premier League meeting saw all 20 clubs committed to finishing the season but it sounds like there’s a move away from that by some clubs now, at least in private.
Any change in the rules would need agreement from 14 of the 20 Premier League clubs but there will still be financial pressure to get the season finished.
The Metro had reported the Premier League would face a bill of “at least £750m” if the season was abandoned.
We imagine that there would also be legal challenges from clubs such as Liverpool and Leeds if the season was voided.
Unfortunately, it has also been reported that a growing number of EFL clubs want the season abandoned too.
Yes, the most important thing at the moment is the health of the public.
But, given that we will get through this at some point, it’s important to keep talking about football and what will happen to the 19/20 season.
Our view is that it simply has to be finished.
In other Leeds United news, ‘This can’t happen’, ‘Get the legal team ready’: Many Leeds fans scared by Phil Hay 19/20 update