Premier League chiefs will meet on Thursday to discuss how they effectively finish the coronavirus-affected 2019/20 season, with the EFL expected to follow their lead.
The English game, like most of Europe, has suspended all football until April 3 at the earliest due to the outbreak, which has, at the time of writing, killed 55 people so far in the UK.
And while there is no outline as to what would happen were the English game be ended now due to the outbreak, a report in the Daily Telegraph claimed senior club executives at the Premier League say there would be no issue declaring Liverpool as champions in a decision that could also see the Premier League extended to 22 teams to accommodate Leeds and West Brom, who currently top the Championship.
However, talk the season could be declared “null and void” were first brought to the public’s attention by Karren Brady.
And with there being no guarantee football will be able to resume on April 3, as originally proposed, West Ham vice-chairman Brady has opposed that view and says the entire season could be declared void, meaning Liverpool’s efforts all count for nothing.
Writing in her column for The Sun , Brady said: “There is no dodging the possibility that all levels in the EFL as well as the Premier League will have to be cancelled and this season declared null and void because if the players can’t play the games can’t go ahead.
“The PL hopes that an interlude of three weeks from will enable it to restart but that may well be dreamland.
“Perhaps scrubbing the European Championship could provide more time to complete the season into the summer but that is also a giant ‘if’.
“What if the league cannot be finished?”
Brady added: “As games in both the PL and in the EFL are affected, the only fair and reasonable thing to do is declare the whole season null and void.
“Who knows who would have gone down or come up if the games have not actually been played in full?
“A huge blow to Liverpool who might be robbed of their first title in 30 years.”
However, following the news on Tuesday that UEFA has decided to put Euro 2020 back 12 months to the summer of 2021, the Daily Star reports that the Premier League will now meet to discuss how they can finish the current season, with Liverpool needing just two wins to confirm their status as champions.
That could, of course, spell bad news to those sides battling to stay in the Premier League, with Brady‘s West Ham out of the relegation zone on goal difference only, with Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich currently making up the bottom three.
Euro 2021 will now take place between June 11 and July 11 across a dozen European cities.
The move has freed up more time for domestic leagues across Europe to be completed – and a working group has been set-up involving league and club representatives to see if calendar solutions can be found to make sure this now happens.
The news will also provide Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds and West Brom with a boost as they look to secure their place back among the elite.
They feared the integrity of the game would be in question were the season to be scrapped and their efforts so far due to count for nothing.
However, the latest reports that the Premier league and the EFL are likely to be committed to seeing the current season out – whenever that may be – will at least give hope to table-topping Liverpool and Leeds that better times are ahead, once the global coronavirus pandemic eases.
UEFA chief explains why coronavirus enforced Euro 2020 postponement
In explaining their organisation’s decision to put Euro 2020 back to the following summer, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent.
“It is at times like these, that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.
“The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and in that spirit, Uefa tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely – and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football.
“There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.
“It was important that, as the governing body of European football, Uefa led the process and made the biggest sacrifice.
“Moving Euro 2020 comes at a huge cost for Uefa but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.”
The move is expected to cost UEFA millions in lost revenue and will also create further headaches for them moving towards next summer.