A statement from the European football governing body has effectively removed any chance that the 2019-2020 season will be declared “null and void”.
UEFA has said it still hopes to finish the seasons across the continent, with all matches played before the end of August being the “ideal situation”.
If this is not possible, UEFA is also open to a shortened campaign or potential play-offs to decide who will participate in European competitions in 2020-21.
They are happy to leave it to the leagues to decide who will move into the Champions League and the Europa League as long as it is done on “sporting merit” and there is no “public perception of unfairness”.
The Premier League stresses that it is determined to finish the season, but also knows that it does not have the time constraints.
They are running out of time to get the remaining devices that teams have left over – particularly in the midst of government advice on social distancing and testing.
If they are unable to do so, their options are at potential play-offs or a point-per-game system.
Mirror Sport understands that adopting a point-per-game system is the preferred method for the league and its clubs at this time.
If necessary, to end the season this way, the Premier League would need 14 of its 20 clubs to agree.
16 clubs have nine games to play, Arsenal, Manchester City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa having 10 to play.
Here is what the table would look like, in the event of the end of the season, with the adoption of points per match:
1.Liverpool – 2.83
2.Manchester City – 2.04
3.Leicester City – 1.83
4.Chelsea – 1.66
5.Manchester United – 1.55
6.Sheffield United – 1.54
7.Wolves – 1.48
8.Arsenal – 1.43
9.Tottenham – 1.41
ten.Burnley – 1.34
11.Crystal Palace – 1.34
12.Everton – 1.28
13.Newcastle United – 1.21
14.Southampton – 1.17
15.Brighton – 1.00
16.West Ham United – 0.93
17.Watford – 0.93
18.Bournemouth – 0.93
19.Villa Aston – 0.89
20.Norwich City – 0.72
As such, Liverpool would be champion with the highest ppg ratio in the history of English football, while Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea would join them in the Champions League – provided that City succeeds in its appeal against the ban on the European football.
Manchester United and Sheffield United would take places in the Europa League group stage, the Wolves – depending on the situation with the FA Cup – could head into the second qualifying round of the competition.
Arsenal would overtake Tottenham in the draw and finish above rivals for the first time in four years, but none of the clubs in north London could bet on European football next season – unless the city was banned against the euro is maintained.
The situation at the other end of the table, however, would be a major problem for the Premier League to resolve.
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Norwich City would face relegation as the bottom. Aston Villa and Bournemouth, in theory, would join them.
But Villa has played one game less and could potentially lead a legal fight.
Bournemouth would also have reason to be unhappy since their PPG would be exactly that of Watford and West Ham; they could also claim to have an easier break-in than either of these two clubs.
The owners of the two clubs are unlikely to vote in favor of the PPG system, but they would need five more clubs to agree to block any results.