Thursday, October 22, 2020

Gundogan: It would be “fair” to award Liverpool Premier League title

Manchester City star Ilkay Gundogan says it would be “fair” to award Liverpool the Premier League title should we be unable to complete the season due to COVID-19.

Ilkay Gundogan comments to German media

Obviously English football has been suspended in England until April 30 at the very least, but with the COVID-19 crisis only worsening with each day, it seems unlikely we will get back underway anytime soon.

Gundogan was asked by German broadcaster ZDF whether or not Liverpool should be given the Premier League title if the season should be cut short entirely.

“For me, that would be OK, yes” answered Gundogan. “You have to be fair as a sportsperson.”

As well as that, the Manchester City star was asked about the impact that the season being cancelled would have on the teams in the division.

“There are different opinions,” he said. “For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn’t be nice if it was cancelled now.

“On the other hand, for clubs who aren’t doing as well and are maybe in the relegation places, an abandonment would obviously suit them.”

As for the thorny issue of finances in football – players at the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have all taken pay cuts to help get through this crisis. Gundogan says it would be “OK” if that happened in England too.

Gundogan © Michael Regan/Getty Images

“Of course I think it’s OK, that goes without saying – [but] there’s been no discussion in England yet,” he said.

The season must be finished

Irritatingly, it’s looking more and more unlikely that the season will actually be able to be completed. In my honest opinion, we should be doing whatever we can to make sure it does find a natural conclusion.

So many people seem to be far more worried about next season, something that hasn’t even started yet, than they do about finishing a season that’s already three quarters of the way through. I don’t know about you, but that seems backward to me.

Even if we don’t get this season finished until Christmas, that should be the priority right now. The transfer window and registration period should be delayed until the day the season ends – whenever that be.

All the players who are out of contract in the summer should have their contracts extended until the day the season ends and the registration period begins. For me, that’s the only way to do it. The only way.

Cancelling the season is incredibly unfair to all those teams who have worked hard for nine months to get themselves into a position wherein they look to be set for success i.e Liverpool.

If the season is declared null and void, it almost seems as though the teams at the top of divisions would be punished for success while the teams at the bottom would be rewarded for their failures. Surely that can’t be allowed to happen.

Then we have the scenario wherein Liverpool are awarded the title by default – that’s equally rubbish. If that happens, the Premier League title on Liverpool’s record will forever have an asterisk by it – surely Liverpool can’t want that.

Also, yes they are 25 points clear and 99.9% certain to win the Premier League title – but until that 0.01% is gone, we can never know what would have happened for sure. Therefore, the only way we can do this and it be “fair”, is if we finish the season properly – no matter how long it will take.

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