Friday, August 7, 2020

Is it time to curtail the Premier League season?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 14 May 2020

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The United Kingdom now has the highest death rate of any European country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 30,000 people have lost their lives through the virus. Yet as some industries returned to work on Wednesday, the Premier League were attempting to find a way for the top-flight of English football to return too.

Shouldn’t the biggest concern be people’s health

I have written this before in other articles, but there just seems to be so many obstacles standing in the way of a Premier League return. The biggest one is that football puts peoples lives at risk. Whether its players, coaches or other people required at a football ground to make the action possible.

During the discussions about restarting the league, it seems that the most important aspect of a return to Premier League action is at the back of the list of the priorities. England international Danny Rose recently came out with a damning statement about a return to action.

The full-back told BBC Sport “Football shouldn’t even be spoken about until the numbers have dropped massively,”

“People’s lives are at risk.”

It seems to be a common theme, as reportedly many top-flight footballers are concerned about a return to action in the current climate.

Prioritising money over people’s health

While I am not naïve enough to believe that money doesn’t matter, as it makes the world go round. However, is it more important than risking peoples lives? That is exactly what is going to be happening if football restarts in June. The UK may be over the peak of the virus, but with more people returning to daily life and the so-called lockdown restricted slightly, the cases of COVID-19 may increase again.

I, like many millions of people around the world, would love the Premier League to return in the near future. However, the Premier League as an organisation seems desperate to avoid paying back television money that they have not made health a priority. Unfortunately, this has not been helped by the confusing messages coming from the English government.

Some members of the government have suggested that a top-flight return would help the countries morale. However, a recent poll of British people showed that only 19 per cent of people believed that it would help raise spirits.

If such big money was not involved would they still be pushing forward with the idea of an imminent restart? The answer is likely no. The top-flights in France and the Netherlands have both called time on the season 2019/20. It is no coincidence that Ligue One and the Eredivisie’s television revenue and sponsorship deals come nowhere near those of the Premier League.

Time to end the season now

There have been so many proposals put forward by the Premier League that have been met with objection by its members. The idea of the remainder of the campaign taking place at neutral venues was not a popular one. The clubs down the bottom of the league are now suggesting that relegation and promotion are no longer fair.

Maybe it is time to say enough is enough and just end the season. The points per game system seem to be the Premier League’s fallout position. It is not ideal, but it is better than dragging the situation out any longer. The whole thing is a mess, but that is what this horrible virus has done to the world. It would just be best to concentrate on people’s health and then resume football when hundreds are not dying each day in the country.

Should the Premier League give up plans to restart season 2019/20?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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