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When will this season end, and when will next season start? It’s not that easy to work out.

By Tony Attwood

Next season is due to start on Saturday 8 August.

And according to the standard contracts operated by the Premier League and by the English Football League, players are entitled to “five weeks paid holiday to be taken at a time or times determined by the club – subject to the club’s first team and any international commitments”.

There is also a clause in most contracts that says, “”a club shall not unreasonably refuse to permit the player to take three of such weeks consecutively”.

Now it could be argued that the players are getting a break now, so they won’t need a summer holiday break.  But I rather think players are being told to keep themselves fit because the Premier League is only suspended until 3-5 April.  That means we then have 20 days to make up before giving players their hols.

The season was originally due to end on 17 May.  Add 20 days to that and it ends on 7 June.  That gives two months close down until the start of the new season.  One month holiday for the players, and then one month back in training.  It is just about manageable.

But we also have the Euros which are supposed to begin on 12 June – five days after the season ends in England.

Of course the Euros could be cancelled, although it is not like Uefa to be magnanimous about such things.  So Uefa could demand that the leagues are cut short or abandoned.  That would mean that yes, Liverpool would win the league. Not an unbeaten season as we know, and no doubles in sight, but they could get that title that they have been struggling to achieve since 1990.  But through a shortened season with not all games played.   Not a proper season then.  Not really a season that everyone would want to count as a season.  A season with an asterisk after its name.  One that might or might not be counted in the list of titles won, depending on who was doing the counting.

Mind you perhaps we had better hold back on the sniggering because there is also the FA Cup of which we are the record holders in terms of number of wins and in terms of the manager with the most wins.  Mr Wenger, of course, can’t increase his number of wins, but Arsenal still can.  Will that go ahead?

The point about my ramblings here is that nothing quite works.  Even if we get football going again after a minimal break, if every competition is going to be played, there really isn’t time.  Which means that the Uefa summer competition has to be the first thing to go.  But Uefa isn’t like that.   It wants its money.

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But anyway, do we really believe that we really are going to start matches again around 3 to 5 April?  That doesn’t seem to make much sense.  The virus is expected to peak in intensity in about ten to 14 weeks (at least according to the Sun, which knows absolutely nothing as we recently saw, but then no one knows anything about this, so they seem to be a good choice for the source of our information on this topic), which really makes a delay of football matches until 3 to 5 April as pretty pointless.

That takes the peak to the start of June.  Allow a few weeks for the peak to pass and we have got to the end of June.  Then get the players back in training and yes we can have next season kicking off at the right time.   But only if the Uefa competition is cancelled and there is no attempt to finish this domestic season.

In short, Liverpool don’t get to win a proper season, although we can all be thoroughly decent and magnanimous and say that they probably would have won it if it had been played, but, actually, to be precise and exact for the record books, they didn’t.

A bit like Arsenal didn’t have an unbeaten season because we didn’t win the FA Cup, and the League Cup and the Champions League in 2004.

But who goes into the Europa and the Champions Leagues next season?  Presumably, we take the current league table as the “final” table (with an asterisk).

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 45 82
2 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 68 31 37 57
3 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 58 28 30 53
4 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 51 39 12 48
5 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 44 30 14 45
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 41 34 7 43
7 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 30 25 5 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 47 40 7 41
9 Arsenal 28 9 13 6 40 36 4 40

But hang on, as we’ve said before, that’s hardly fair since we have played one game fewer than the Tiny Totts, and if we played and won that game we could start rising up the table and get a European position.  (Assuming that Manchester City are banned of course).

Actually, when it comes down to it, there is no way at all of working this thing out reasonably while protecting health, other than playing matches without any crowd.  Which is ok for the Premier League clubs but what are the smaller clubs going to be doing for money without any gate receipts?

Presumably, their season can go on through the summer since most of their players don’t play in the Uefa summer tournament.  So we have League Two games going on at the same time as televised internationals involving England…

Hmmm… I am starting to think this doesn’t work, no matter how we run it, other than cancelling the current season and starting again in August.   Sorry Liverpool, but I don’t think you did (will) win the league this season.   Bit of a bugger, I know, but, you can run the current league table.  With an asterisk.

* Season abandoned.

That’s all right isn’t it?

9 comments to When will this season end, and when will next season start? It’s not that easy to work out.

  • Les Martin ( LeMmy )

    Let’s go on the basis that because UEFA arranged a cup final in Baku with no regard to supporters then UEFA competitions will have to be abandoned ; shame that.
    Next up this season will just have to be written off as just an exercise to keep players fit .
    Of course it’s going to be a great shame for clubs , who for instance need revenue to pay for a new stadium to have to play behind closed doors.
    As 1 or 2 of us are aware a certain new facility on the fringes of a High street in North London could be on the brink of financial ruin perhaps before it’s too late they could open up a chicken farm there , at least the eggs will be useful something that couldnt be said of goings on there for the last century or so.

  • Menace

    The usual protocol is the publishing of a CD, so a new bottom filled trophy competition might be apropriate. The club without a trophy the longest wins.

  • boodieo

    Still taking cheap shots at your perceived enemies when a little bit of compassion would not go amiss. Quite similar to Trump really.

  • Gord

    All the teams in the EPL know that PGMO tilts the games, so the fact that LiVARpool!’s performance is tainted by such is probably not regarded as a problem. LiVARpool! will push to be named champion, regardless of whether the league is finished or not. I will guess that what might happen, is the teams with games in hand will be allowed to bring their schedule up to the majority of the teams, and then the season will be closed.

    Metro (and probably others) seems to think that TV broadcasters will force the league to finish the season. I can’t see any way for this season to finish with 38 games per team and next season to also have 38 games per team; I would guess that between both seasons we might see 60 games per team. Or, all the EPL teams drop out of the League Cup; possibly forever. Those games don’t see to get any coverage; perhaps that is what Carabao wanted?

    This mess could end up in the courts. But really, what should happen is all the parties should set up a video chat session, and come up with a solution through mediation or arbitration. Do that now, while so many people are isolated; you can’t transmit a virus over an IP link.

    I agree UEFA wants the money, but I think too many countries are pissed at UEFA over Baku. They may get their way and UEFA gets postponed a year. And it will cost UEFA money. And I think this will shut down FIFA’s talk of a world club cup.

    Personally, I still want PGMO shut down.

  • Gord

    Another change I would like to see, is TV coverage which has no commentators, just the crowd noise at the stadium.

  • The notion that this little piece was in some way similar to Trump is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve seen on Untold.

  • I suspect that the Trump jibe was addressed to Menace, not you, Tony.

  • Jigsol – if so, I can take offence of Menace’s behalf.

  • Kenward Garg

    Agree. I watched a Portuguese stream a while back. No commentary. After fifteen minutes or so, I suddenly realised…my perception of what I was watching was not being distorted by a paid “professional” with a vested interest in portraying a false narrative. Enlightening to say the least.

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