Is The Premier League Season Over Because Of Corona?
It seems like life has stopped for football fans. No Premier League, no La Liga, Serie A or Bundesliga, no Champions League, and Euro 2020 got postponed for a year. How long will this last? Will we see Liverpool get that title after a 30-year wait? Could the PL season indeed be over?
The new Coronavirus took the world by storm. To date, we have about 400,000 confirmed cases in more than 190 territories. With the lives of people at stake, it seems like a no-brainer to put everything on breaks and wait for better times.
COVID-19 Situation in the UK
In the UK alone, there are 6650 confirmed cases of the virus, with 335 deaths. PM Boris Johnson, after a short period of reluctance, put the country on the lockdown on March 24, by “shutting non-essential shops and services and banning gatherings of more than 2 people”. Of course, that makes large-scale events like the Premier League matches practically impossible!
Timeline of Announcements
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc all over the globe, causing lockdowns of entire countries, one could assume suspending professional sports would be a fast and easy decision to make. Still, it took until Friday, March 13, and positive tests for both Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for the EFL board to take action and postpone the league. With the peak of the virus spread estimated in some 10-14 weeks’ away after the league should have been over, there’s little hope to see any football action for the foreseeable future.
According to the Telegraph, PL is to resume the games starting June 1, behind closed doors. If the games resume, the league and the clubs will have a window to prepare for the next season starting August 8. But even that sounds a bit optimistic. Now, putting athletes’ lives in danger seems unethical, but as always, there’s another side to the situation: money.
The future of the Premier League season
As hard as COVID-19 hit our health care systems, its impact on the global economy is even worse. Its financial damage now reaches trillions. Whole industries shut down because of it. Every postponed match adds to the global crisis. No games mean no ticket sales, no games mean no wages for some people, and lost money for broadcasters. Many clubs will not be able to stay afloat if all this happens. Ex PL boss Rian Laws even urged PL players to donate a month’s wage to lower league clubs so that they can recover. Of course, even the most prominent clubs are losing millions. So naturally, if there is a way to contain the risk and resume the league, it will be back.
2020 started out much like a dystopian novel. Now even football is gone. As much as the fans and those who love to bet on the Premier League want to see the PL season end, the clubs, the players, the officials, the broadcasters, the owners, the thousands of people who depend on the games financially want it back even more. And if there’s a way to resume the season as soon as it’s realistically possible, it will happen!