Thursday, October 22, 2020

EPL: Brighton owner declares he can’t see how teams can be relegated if season ends early

Brighton and Hove Albion owner Tony Bloom says Premier League teams should not be relegated if the season cannot be completed.

On Friday, all 20 Premier League clubs met to discuss several scenarios that could be put in place should the Premier League season be unable to finish.

The meeting, during which the Premier League clubs discussed a scheduling model, didn’t see the teams come to a definitive answer.

There’s been a lot of talk as to what could happen should they be unable to complete the season. Would there still be a champion? Would teams still be relegated?

The Brighton owner says he cannot see how anyone could still be relegated if the season ends incomplete.

“It would be very difficult to relegate somebody, particularly from the Premier League, if the season hasn’t played out,” said Bloom.

There are a number of Premier League clubs who believe June 30 should be a cut-off point for the season to be completed.

For that to happen, 14 of the 20 teams in the league would need to vote in favour. They were due to discuss that possibility at the meeting on Friday, but decided now is not the time to do so.

The reason teams want the season finished by then is because of the commercial and contractual issues that come with it.

Many players are out of contract on June 30 and by English contract law, they could in reality stand themselves down from action once that date has passed.

As well as that, there are a number of clubs who have expiring deals with kit manufacturers and are due to enter into new ones on July 1 – another issue.

It’s becoming tougher and tougher to see a scenario wherein this Premier League season does end up coming to a natural conclusion.

The chances are, the 2019/20 season will end up being declared null and void – which is a terribly unfortunate actuality.

Meanwhile, the transfer market will be seriously impacted this summer too. Brighton have spent a lot of money over the last year or so, sanctioning big money deals for the likes of Adam Webster.

Brighton owner Bloom says he can’t see deals like that happening this year.

“I don’t think the market will be nearly as active as in previous seasons,” he said. “And the total transfers will be a very small percentage of what it has been in previous summers.

“The actual value of players has gone right down in all squads. There’s no doubt if you were going to sell a player in the transfer window coming up and you were expecting to be getting £15m, you’re going to get less than that.”

It’s not just Brighton who will face this challenge. It seemingly will impact the entire footballing community. Interesting times lay ahead.

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