A respected sports lawyer has given table toppers Liverpool and Leeds new reasons to worry the season will be scrapped due to the coronavirus outbreak, declaring it akin to the scenes witnessed in World War II.
That’s the view of Richard Cramer, who claims the outbreak means declaring the season ‘void’ must now be seen as “almost inevitable”.
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 35 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.”
Brady received significant criticism for her comments, not least from former Reds defender Jamie Carragher.
Cramer backs Brady coronavirus comments
Perhaps worrying for Liverpool – 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League – and Championship table-toppers Leeds, who lead the Championship table with a seven-point buffer to third and are seeking a return to the top flight since 2004, Cramer insists Brady’s comments are right.
And Cramer says if football doesn’t start again in early April, football’s authorities may have no choice but to declare the season void – which would be ‘devastating’ for many clubs.
“If they get the games going by the beginning of April, I think we should be all right,” Cramer told Sky Sports News.
“But if we go through to May or June, it’s almost inevitable – it’s almost the equivalent of what happened in the world wars – that the season just has to be cancelled and they start all over again.
“It’s obviously devastating for the likes of Leeds United and West Brom. Those clubs are on the verge of promotion. Also Liverpool, obviously.
“It’s not a great thought, but they will have to abide by what the majority say and what decision is eventually made by the board of directors.”