Gunner Thoughts

A Distracted Time with a Shrouded Future

Null and void or complete as is? How will the year end? Distracted from the game, everything seems to affect everything else leaving the future shrouded in mystery.

When all of this started to take off, the shift in topic started to swing, the theories of what could be and what couldn’t be flooded the into the news, I told myself that I would stay on topic. I would keep myself on Arsenal, keep a lot of that out, and remain focused to provide people with a respite from the rest. Well… I quickly failed.

Not by choice but because of the all-encompassing nature of this pandemic. It has crossed barriers and begun to affect almost every facet of life – businesses, schools, sports, events. We can be upset about it; I think that it would be tough not to be disappointed in missing games. I. myself, have been frustrated with the performances from Arsenal all year, begged to have the season ended to put my out of my misery on multiple occasions, but disappointed to have it ended like this. However, that disappointment should be tempered by the larger picture.

We have reached a point where the efforts of the entirely global population must be consistent and diligent if we are to reap any of the benefits. This has led to the drastic cancellations and suspensions of events across the world.

Today an emergency group met to discuss what the Premier League planned to do for their own season. Many may have thought we would get news of a full cancelation, but they seem to have offered themselves a little more time to make an educated decision.

For now, the Premier League will suspend their season until April 3-5. This takes effect immediately and will cancel this weekend’s match against Brighton. We received word from Mikel today, after being tested positive for Coronavirus, that he is “feeling better already”. Great news and we will continue to wish him, and everyone else, a quick recovery.

What does this mean for the future?

Honestly, I don’t know. Based on how things are going right now, it certainly feels like we could have the remained of the season cancelled soon enough, but for now they have bought themselves some extra time to figure out where to go from here.

In a statement after the meeting, the committee said:

“Following a meeting of shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.

“In this unprecedented situation we are working closely with our clubs, Government, the FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.

“Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, when it is safe to do so.”  

How resuming the season would look as far as scheduling and how that scheduling would affect the summer’s events is something they will be spending the next month considering.

What happens if they cancel?

If they end the season, there will be a long list of issues and problems for the leagues to figure out and you can bet that someone will be on the wrong end of each decision. Who is champion? Who qualifies for next year’s competitions? Who gets relegated? Who gets promoted?

The answers could depend on how they rule this season – null and void or complete as is. There have been suggestions that the Bundesliga is considering ending the season, declaring no champion, but the table will stand as it currently sits. This means the top 4 could qualify for Champions League next year. Where it gets interesting, is the idea that no teams will be relegated while the teams in their second league that were set for promotion will be promoted. They would then compete with a 22 team league the following year and have 5 teams relegated. It’s an interesting prospect for the Premier League to consider but uncharted territory, no doubt.

For the Premier League:

  • Liverpool would not be named champion
  • Liverpool, Manchester City*, Leicester, and Chelsea would qualify for Champions League
  • Norwich, Aston Villa, and Bournemouth would escape relegation
  • Leeds and West Brom would be promoted to the Premier League
  • Fullham, Brentford, Nottingham Forest, and Preston would not have a playoff for the third and final spot

*Manchester city is still awaiting a ruling on their violation and European ban

It is an interesting prospect, one that Liverpool fans would be irate by, and one that would see Arsenal miss out on their chance to make a late surge. Until a decision is made, we will have to wait and see. Until then, stay healthy and well. Best wishes.

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