Re-set the clock. It’s the only sensible thing to do

Published: Monday, 16 March 2020

Let’s get this clear straight away. Liverpool have been magnificent at times this season. They’ve blown teams away. They looked invincible. It looked as though they’d set a new points record in the PL. I think we can all agree?

Mind you, Sheffield United have been fantastic. Who’d have thought they could achieve what they have? Well - actually, me! Read my early season predictions blog. If Sheffield United win their game in hand they go 5th - above United. Fifth could be good enough for CL football this season.

Wolves haven’t done badly either.

Leeds and West Brom have had eventful seasons, but they’re not up yet. Both can still he caught. So how can we promote them? It would be outrageous if those chasing play-off places were to miss out on the chance to get up.  Bristol City, Millwall, Cardiff are all jockeying. So are Blackburn and Swansea. It’s one of the joys of Championship football that very little is ever settled until the last day of the season. Oh - and the football is pure. No VA-bloodyR spoiling matches.

Barnsley are bottom. They’re not down but they could go - so too could at least seven other teams.

In League One Coventry are top. They’ll come up surely? After years of misery their fans (me included) deserve something to shout about. But we don’t know do we? Are you getting my point? We just don’t know.

Liverpool were going to be ‘invincible’. They were going to retain the CL. They were going to do a league and cup double. Were..... Not now they’re not.

Of course it looks as though they’re going to win the title. But they haven’t won it. Who knows? Their form in recent games has been sobering for their fans. They’ve been poor. Very very poor. Have Klopp’s infamous demands of his players caught up with them again - as they have in previous seasons? Has last seasons fantastic chase of City left them empty? We don’t know. And we might never know. Apologies, by the way, If your team plays lower down - but who cares about that? Liverpool fans appear not to. I left you out of the argument to make that very point. Never mind that Barrow might be back in the EFL next season - and maybe Harrogate for the first time, where father is chairman and son the manager.

The sensible thing to sort all these things out is to ‘play on’ when we can. It’s everybody’s preferred choice. But how exactly do we do that?

Postponing the season was a no-brainer. How that fool Boris Johnson couldn’t see that I have no idea. Perhaps ‘soccer’ isn’t on his radar - just ‘rugger’- and sending children to school to play it during a pandemic. God help us.

But let’s be realistic - the chances of finishing this season are receding by the day. My old mate, Javier Tebas, who runs the Spanish League, has this morning called for the season to be cancelled. For once, I agree with this over promoted egotist. Cancel - now. Re-set the clocks. Go back to last August and start again with everything as it was. That includes the same teams in the CL, UEL - all of them. That will suit the big boys clamouring for a closed shop of CL clubs anyway.

How can we realistically start again in - say, a couple of weeks? Six weeks perhaps? No - two months. Perhaps a week? See the problem? It’s one thing all agreeing to stop playing at the same time but teams won’t all be ready to start playing again at the same time. What about those isolating players now? Some will show symptoms days/weeks from now. They won’t be ready to play with those who’ve recovered earlier. So teams are nothing like the same as those that stopped playing? Where’s the integrity in that?

And the further we push the season back the nearer we get to the deadline when 70 or more PL players are out of contract. Why would they play on with their current clubs? What about injuries? Who would look after a player out of contract, denied a big move by an injury in the last few days of his time with his current employer? So some are weakened in other ways. Where’s the integrity in that?

I read of plans to re-start the European competitions with mini-leagues to sort out a winner. It’s meaningless. It’s not how the competitions work.

All of the above applies to England only. What about Scotland? Should Celtic be ‘given’ a title they haven’t won? Of course they shouldn’t and as manager of Rangers Steven Gerrard should be making that very point. Or is he more concerned about Liverpool? It makes you wonder doesn’t it?

No. Liverpool can not be handed a title they haven’t won. Nor can Celtic. Nor can Barcelona or Juventus. It’s tough - if like my team you’ve worked hard all season to put yourself in a position to achieve something - but it’s only fair on the majority. I’m sorry Liverpool - if you take a title you haven’t won it will forever be tainted. It will always be the ‘title you didn’t win’. And the same goes for Celtic - Barca Juve.....

Let’s hope things settle down, but please, whilst there are many many more important things to worry about, let’s stop the fanciful nonsense. Liverpool have NOT won the title.