The Premier League are mulling over the idea of finishing the season, possibly starting in early June. There is huge financial pressure on them to do so. Contractually, they'd have to pay back £750 million to the TV companies if they don't finish the season and live up to their commitment to televise the appropriate number of games.
I'm not sure of the wisdom of restarting the league. A number of other European leagues have already abandoned the season and I think the Premier League would be wise to follow suit. It is true that Germany is considering restarting its league but, as ever, the Germans have been more efficient in how they've handled coronavirus than we have.
We'll have lost three months of the season by 7 June and it's going to be an almighty rush to catch up on that. Of course the coronavirus situation will have a big impact and the proposal is that games will be played in sealed, neutral venues, staffed by the minimum people needed to broadcast the games.
This all has the look of a perfunctory facade that has only financial considerations at its root. Football is — or should be — for the fans and maybe this situation illustrates much that has gone wrong with the game.
Boris Johnson thinks restarting the league might provide a boost for people who are weary of the lockdown restrictions. Well, maybe. I certainly miss the football but I'm inclined to think this season is a lost cause.
The sensible thing would be to share the financial losses between the Premier League and the TV rights holders and instead consider how the 2020/2021 season might operate.
This would leave a lot of things to sort out of course. Do we award the title to Liverpool? What about promotions and relegations? Personally I would just abandon the whole thing and pretend this season never happened. Oh the horror, the injustice! Well, not really. Thousands of people dying daily (worldwide) is a horror and an injustice — this is just sport.
If I felt the impetus was coming from somewhere other than finances, I might be more sympathetic to a restart, but I don't think it is. Lawyers will no doubt drone on about contractual obligations but, I'm sorry, these are unusual times. If it's beyond the wit of the various organisations to come up with an equitable solution then maybe it's time to sack a few people at the top of these organisations.
Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter.