Coronavirus forces Premier League to suspend games for 3 weeks

Friday, 13 March, 2020 205comments  |  Jump to last
Everton player in self-isolation

Monday's Merseyside derby is off, Finch Farm is closed and English football has been suspended following the shutdown of professional football until 4th April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was taken just hours following a statement by the Premier League that this weekend's programme of matches was set to go ahead despite the spread of the coronavirus and the fact that the rest of Europe's major leagues had either been suspended or were scheduled to go ahead behind closed doors.

The situation quickly changed when Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea players Callum Hudson-Odoi both tested positive for the virus and both squads went into lockdown, prompting an emergency meeting of the Premier League and EFL.

In addition, Everton have closed Goodison Park, Finch Farm and their headquarters at the Royal Liver Building after an un-named player went into self-isolation after exhibiting symptoms suggestive of coronavirus or influenza.

"Everton Football Club can confirm that one member of the Everton first-team squad reported a high temperature last night and is now undertaking a period of self-isolation for seven days," a statement read.

"In line with Government guidelines no other players are self-isolating at this stage but the Club's USM training facility has been closed as a precaution and staff, including players, have been advised to stay away from all Club sites until further notice."

Meanwhile, the Premier League's statement on the suspension of matches until 3rd April, with fixtures set to resume the next day, read as follows:

"Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League's aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.

"In this fast-moving environment, further updates will be provided when appropriate.

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters added:

"Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.

"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."

The suspension of all Premier League, EFL and top-level women's football in England means the forthcoming friendlies against Italy and Denmark, scheduled for 27 March and 31 March respectively, have also been shelved.


Reader Comments (205)

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 13/03/2020 at 10:40:28
I can't see how they finish this season really, though!?

We've already got a match to be rearranged with Norwich that was called off, then Norwich will have to play a rearrangement of their FA Cup quarter final; it just goes on, doesn't it?

I still can't see how they finish the season at this rate.

Tony Everan
2 Posted 13/03/2020 at 10:41:17
Considering the peak of cases is forecast to be mid-May, that's it for this season.

No chance of it recommencing.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 13/03/2020 at 10:58:15
BBC "Matches in the Championship, League One and League Two have been called off until 3 April."
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:03:57
And Sky saying 3 April date also applies to the Premier League:

"The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest".

Jay Wood

5 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:16:05
Premier League statement:

The Premier League says it intends to return on 4 April, "subject to medical advice and conditions at the time".

In a statement the Premier League said: "Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League's aim is to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.

"In this fast-moving environment, further updates will be provided when appropriate."

Sensible stuff.

Jim Wilson
6 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:31:07
This season should be null and void without any shadow of a doubt. Restart a new season in August. No ifs, no buts.
Simon Smith
7 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:33:33
According to Sky, we have someone or some players with coronavirus. They haven't stated who. Makes sense with us playing Arsenal not that long ago...
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:35:51
More sensible than the Prime Minister, and his experts last night. If your over 70 don't go on a cruise... Incredible.

I'm glad people are waking up to how bad this could be for so many people in society, it's gonna be boring without the football, so I'm now going for my last pint because I'm expecting life to start slowing right down completely.

Liam Reilly
9 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:36:37
According to the Mail Online (not the most reputable source I know): "Three Leicester players are being tested and Everton's squad in self-isolation after a player reported symptoms of the virus."

Wonder if one of them is Pickford; about the only thing he's caught this season.

Just kidding - hope all the players and staff are well.

Simon Smith
10 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:38:45
Make it 2 pints, Tony, one is never enough. Enjoy.
Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:44:19


Rob Halligan
12 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:48:53
Let's assume that Man City go all the way in the FA Cup and Champions League. They could have a maximum 19 games to play, though I've heard all future European rounds could be one-off games.

Still, they could have a maximum of 17 games to play. Even at 2 games per week, they would be looking at finishing their season mid to late June. This isn't going to happen, so just scrap the season now.

John Raftery
13 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:53:43
It seems highly unlikely a decision could be made to resume the season on 4th April.
Dale Rose
14 Posted 13/03/2020 at 11:59:17
Can't see anything going on until next season now. The only way really.

I feel so wretched and sad about our friends in Mordor, however... That's Karma, you bastards!

To all Evertonians and older fans and their families – take care, one and all.

Michael Lynch
15 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:06:08
I reckon we'll miss a few rounds of games, then they'll start playing them on an ad hoc basis, depending on each club's situation with the virus, possibly behind closed doors. Probably won't be enough to settle relegation/promotion battles so that might go to some kind of play off in May/June, but sadly it should give the Shite the chance to win the title as they only need City to fail to win one more game really.

Europa League and Champions League might not even get finished, or the FA Cup for that matter.

I'm assuming we season-ticket holders will get credit for next season, possibly for cup games if the club are mean about it, or they'll give us a pint and a giant Twix bar each.

If our government's advisors are right, the idea is to spread this epidemic over as long a period as possible to avoid meltdown in the NHS while getting the majority of young and healthy people infected and immune. Essentially, this is like any other coronavirus (flu etc), the real difference being that nobody has immunity to this one yet and so it spreads quicker and more widely than the usual seasonal flu. Plus it seems to cause a higher rate of serious illness.

Anyway, I'm not going to the pub for a while, I'll be cracking open a bottle at home instead. After I've washed my hands of course.

Tom Bowers
16 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:07:09
Just when RS were hitting a bad run, but none of the chasing group deserve anything, even if RS lost all remaining games, which of course wouldn't have happened.

One possible godsend is that the Blues wouldn't have had to face a possible backlash after the Atletico game, although Everton would have been like lambs to the slaughter anyway after the dreadful performance at Chelsea.

Pat Kelly
17 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:09:03
Everton were well ahead of the rest as usual and wrote the season off at Christmas. Stay safe everyone and hope we all make it.
Steve Brown
18 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:23:00
Living in a country which had the secondest highest number of cases through January and February after China, from experience, it will take 3 months to stabilise the outbreak in the UK. All major events were stopped and remain stopped for the foreseeable future.
Sam Barrett
19 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:28:08
Watch the beloved kopites (Klopp included) reveal their true colours over the next few weeks. Will be very entertaining.
Kieran Kinsella
20 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:32:45
Maybe they'll restart this one and realign the seasons so there's a Preseason break for Winter 2022, for the World Cup?
Alan McGuffog
21 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:33:11
And to think loads of people were saying our midfield were too slow to catch a cold. Happy now?
Chris Williams
22 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:33:30
Neville Southall comment last weekend:

"Wear gloves. When I wore them I caught fuck-all."

John Boon
23 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:38:26
On the earlier article, I had posted that I had cancelled a long-awaited return to Liverpool with my son and son-in-law in order to see the derby...

WOW! That was a very close call made just 10 hours before the flight. Disappointed but I was fully refunded and hope to do the same trip in August for next season.

I was hoping to meet up with John McFarlane and possibly some other TW's to celebrate a win and also my son's 50th Birthday. "Instant Karma" if those other bunch do not get the Premier League Title. Many thanks to all those who posted their sympathies. We will be back.

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:46:19
If the season is over at least we won't have to lose anymore bloody away games lol
Brent Stephens
26 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:47:07
John, glad you were refunded! Well done.
John Chambers
27 Posted 13/03/2020 at 12:57:54
Not sure who at the Premier League can think April 3 is realistic. We are being told Covid-19 won't peak till June. You've then got to give players a “pre-season” if they haven't been able to train for several weeks. I think we'll be lucky to be in a position to start next season.
Kieran Kinsella
28 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:00:53
John 27,

I imagine (hope) they're just buying time while they figure out how to deal with promotion/relegation, sponsors wanting money back for games not played, Football League clubs becoming insolvent due to lost gate receipts etc.

Kieran Kinsella
29 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:02:21
Jim Bennings,

For once we can enjoy a derby weekend.

John Keating
30 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:03:40
I think they should just cancel everything, as if this season never happened (like Silva being here).

See where we are in the Summer and start everything off from fresh. Obviously there will be no European football until after next season.

No doubt there would be a lot of aggro just cancelling this season but firstly we have to think of people; secondly, footy without spectators is nonsense.

Ensuring clubs remain sort of solvent will need looking at especially lower-league clubs.

Michael O'Malley
31 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:10:37
And will Sky refund customers for cancelled games?
Martin Nicholls
32 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:12:45
RS can have no complaints if a line was drawn under this season now. While the majority of fans didn't want a winter break, Klopp was one of the most outspoken lobbyists in favour of it - had it not been for that break, they might well have won Premier League by now!

In future, Klippetty, be careful what you wish for!!

Andy Duff
33 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:12:50
The issue with postponing until the summer is a lot of players' contracts will end in June. The transfer window opens in July.

They have to finish this season by end of June; if they don't, then I can't see them finishing it.

Maybe the RS didn't read the small print in their deal with the devil and this is their punishment?

John McFarlane Snr
34 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:13:09
Hi all, I think that the football authorities have belatedly reached the correct decision. I have done a lot of soul-searching over the last few days and, to be perfectly honest, I think I would have been selfish and I would have attended the game.

I admit that this course of action would have been hypocritical, considering the fact that I have often commented on there being more important things in life than football. Thankfully, the decision has been taken out of my hands.

However, the current situation has convinced me that my claim was correct, and will ensure that I will not be tempted should a similar situation arise. I stand chastened.

Paul Jones
35 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:21:56
I would have thought the FA would not miss a business opportunity in the interests of the game. Play-offs down to where Man Utd finish and wild cards for other preferred teams like Arsenal, Spurs & Newcastle. Got to reward them new voters in the North East.

Then pick some preferred venues that must include the Olympic Stadium; cannot have other "supporters" not making a return on an investment.

Tony Cunningham
36 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:30:24
Thank god the reds got beaten last week or else they'd have been going on forever as if they'd completed the season unbeaten.

The season should be written off but Liverpool should be allowed an advantage for next season to make up for them not winning this season, that VAR always goes in their favour.

Oh wait, that was this season's deal.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:31:46
John (34),

Well, at least you were honest about your intentions. I hope you are okay and stay that way. Good luck and good health to you, Josh and all the family.

Christy Ring
38 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:41:30
The Premier League should make this season null and void, and start afresh in August, which would satisfy the majority of clubs, 19 to be exact.
Mike Gaynes
39 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:51:13
Jarring to find Everton at the center of this now. We'll probably know soon who the first-team player is. Let's hope the self-quarantining works and there's been no spread in the club.

This stoppage was inevitable, and it seems highly unlikely that the crisis will have passed in 3 weeks.

My best guess is the season will eventually be resumed without trying to make up the missed games. It might be too complicated to extend the season into July just to make sure every fixture is played.

Bill Gall
40 Posted 13/03/2020 at 13:53:01
As a person aged 79, it becomes difficult in wondering what to do as the province that I live in, New Brunswick, is on the East Coast and at the moment we only have one case who is suspected but not confirmed of the virus.

To give an idea of the size of Canada, this virus started off in British Columbia and Liverpool is closer to me than Vancouver by over a 1000 km. Now I don't now if I am supposed to stay in, in isolation, as I will be at risk, having diabetes, or carry on as normal as I am not sure if there are any cases here.

I am glad the games have been cancelled as it will give Everton a chance to recover from that disgusting display at Chelsea. As I watch all the games on TV, I am happy that we are not playing behind closed doors as, in empty stadiums, after watching PSG against Dortmund and a couple of other games without the crowd, there was no excitement that is produced by a crowd, and this was highlighted when I switched over to the Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid game after the other game finished.

My own opinion is this season should just end as is and just promotion and relegation decided by the present league positions and any cup games scrapped. This virus that started off in China 7-8 weeks ago is only just starting to be contained.

You can't contain a new virus in a couple of weeks that, up to today, there are no vaccinations to contain or cure it.

Jay Wood

41 Posted 13/03/2020 at 14:05:32
Well, with little or no live sports for the 1000s of TV sports channels to broadcast for the coming weeks – months even – possibly the best sport is going to be to watch and listen to the bleating and justifications from our loveable neighbours on the unfairness of it all if they are to be denied that long-desired league title.

Karma with a capital K-A-R-M-A if that does prove to be the case, many a football fan may conclude.

Jim Burns
42 Posted 13/03/2020 at 14:06:01
Aside from everyone staying fit and well through this, my only other wish now is that the RS are well and truly fucked. If so, there is a God, and such a thing as karma. It's been a long time since 1914, 1939 and Heysel – but worth the wait... Fingers crossed.
Kieran Kinsella
43 Posted 13/03/2020 at 14:09:34
I settled the derby myself with an old Subutteo set. 3-0 to Everton, Gary Lineker with a hat-trick.

It was a little unfair on the RS as Lineker broke off his base so I used Bluetac to fix him and it gave him a bit of a weight advantage which helped power in shots from our own half. Nonetheless, I will pass on the results to the Premier League for official recording.

Jim Bennings
44 Posted 13/03/2020 at 14:16:24

I bet half of the Subutteo players had more movement and a better array of passes than our midfield.

Kieran Kinsella
45 Posted 13/03/2020 at 14:30:30
Jim Bennings

Lol, they did. You should have seen Peter Reid, he doesn't even have a head any more yet he was all over the field.

Ray Roche
46 Posted 13/03/2020 at 14:47:22
Bill, you can't do that re finish the league as it is. Relegating a team which may avoid relegation could finish that club. Look where Bolton and Coventry are now.

Aston Villa have invested money and are not dead yet.

Kevin Latham
47 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:00:48
Kieran, we can trust Lineker to keep that info to himself, he's good at not letting on he played for us so you're right to inform the Premier League yourself. Although they'll probably fine us and take the points away as Subbuteo Lineker needed an unnatural substance to get back on his base, which violates Premier League (Real or Cardboard/Plastic Player) Law 1:

Anything – and we mean anything – that Liverpool Football Club don't like shall be completely excluded in its entirety from (i) the result and (ii) humanity in general as if it never existed whatsoever unless it is to Liverpool's advantage.

If any club disputes the foregoing, then Law 1 shall always apply.

Kieran Kinsella
48 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:13:21

You're probably right. Plus, the Liverpool team I had was the old Crown Paints shirt lot which means one of them was Rushie and I am pretty sure there used to be a rule that Rush always had to score against Everton.

Steve Croston
49 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:25:37
Simple-ish solution is to postpone Euro 2020 and finish the season later. Cancelling the rest of the domestic season would cause too many problems.
Brent Stephens
50 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:33:23
Andy #33 "The issue with postponing until the summer is a lot of players' contracts will end in June. The transfer window opens in July".

What a good observation! And I'm sure there are lots of other unintended (and as yet unknown) consequences of any lengthy postponement.

Jay Harris
51 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:36:04
I see the NHS have asked for extra funding to help remove all the tattoos that RS fans have had done saying "Champions 2020".
Daniel A Johnson
52 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:39:52
Juventus fans sending their commiserations from Italy.

Coronavirus 1 - Liverpool 0

John Pierce
53 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:42:48
Sadly, if the season is voided, it shouldn't be a problem for our neighbours. They keep telling anyone they can this is the greatest Premier League team for some time. They'll have no problem winning it.
Bill Gall
54 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:44:31
Ray, What is your alternative? They either wait until May or cancel the league completely and start next season. A couple of weeks isn't going to change the situation in a country where the population of England must be around 80 million people, and looking at the problem other countries have, realistically I can't see this virus being cleared very quickly.

The ones that are going to complain the quickest to start off the leagues will be the media, who no doubt will pay for their own experts in scientific medicine to declare that this virus is not serious and start pressurizing the FA to start playing again.

Companies that make huge amounts are okay until they start losing it, and that is when, as they say, the shit will start hitting the fan.

It will not matter what decision is made – no-one will be happy about it, and more than likely teams will end up playing at least 2 games a week, and teams still in domestic and European cup games will play more.

As Liverpool only have the league to worry about, this is one they would agree to.

John McFarlane Snr
55 Posted 13/03/2020 at 15:52:19
Hi Dave [37], I have tried all my life to tell the truth, no matter how difficult it may be. Like most others, I'll admit to the occasional 'white lie' but to anything significant, I hold my hands up, and I regard my integrity to be in the significant category.

I find it easier to confess; a typical example is the fact that I could claim that I saw the World Cup, FA Cup, and League Championship trophies being paraded around Goodison before the Charity Shield game in 1966. I did attend the game with my mates but we'd stayed in the Pub a bit too long; we did, however, make it in time to see the kick-off.

It would have been nice to have witnessed it but I can't lie to myself. I believe there's a saying: "To thyself yourself be true" which I try to do. I believe I've told you that tale either in the cafe on County Road, or at one of our gatherings.

Josh is doing well, I don't know the exact details but it appears that the manager of the West Lancs team is exploring the possibility of nominating him for Academy trials. Thank you for your good wishes which are reciprocated.

Jack Convery
56 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:03:54
As the father of a daughter with a chronic health condition and underlying health issues myself, I am so glad common sense has finally won out.

Hopefully all those involved in football will be okay.

I cannot see this season being finished and I doubt the Champions League and Europa League will finish either.

Take care, everyone.

Peter Gorman
57 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:14:51
Our players couldn't beat a RS team riddled with the virus, if the cup was anything to go by.

I'm with Jim @6, declare the whole season null and void and start over.

This virus is serious for those of us or our loved ones with any form of respiratory condition, so I echo the sentiments of Jack above and wish everyone a safe recovery in due course.

Pat Kelly
58 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:16:44
Jay #51, brilliant 😀
John Pierce
59 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:22:32
In all seriousness, the UK and the US haven't even peaked in terms of the numbers. There's a fair chance we've taken measures too late based on outbreaks in Italy and Span especially.

Those numbers could take 4-6 weeks to work through, based on China, and they only controlled the situation by shutting parts of the country down. You've seen in just 24 hours within the football community how quickly it's spread.

Voiding the Premier League at this stage means no-one is disadvantaged: as it stands, there are no confirmed mathematical promotions or relegations in any of the English professional leagues as far as I'm aware.

We need all medical resources to be dedicated to help those who need it, not to be at football games or other gatherings. If for one moment your attendance might seriously affect someone else's health, then I'm sure you'd all go "Ah, that could be me."

Our medical services are already hugely over-burdened; why increase that burden? It's selfish, because many medical staff will contract the virus helping others, depleting their numbers further.

Ray Robinson
60 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:23:44
Despite my lingering bitterness over the European ban, if the season were to finish now, I would grudgingly award the title to the other lot but I could not stomach the thought of the bottom three being relegated as it stands now. Anything can happen between now and the end of the season – besides, Villa have played a game less than the others.

I just think if the coronavirus had struck before the Wimbledon game, we might still be in the Championship. The relegation issue has to be properly sorted - just think of all the court actions that would ensue.

Possibly start next season with 22 teams and relegate 4 teams. The same again the following season. Status quo in 2 seasons, nobody unfairly penalised.

Liam Reilly
61 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:35:49
Clubs can't be relegated or promoted with so many games remaining Ray; can you imagine the lawsuits. But you can bet your backside that, if the season is voided, then Liverpool will be appealing to the FA because they were soooo close.

No doubt an 'exception' will be made to crown them Champions anyway.

See 'The Masters' has gone now and the Players cancelled too.

I'm off to call Sky.

Len Hawkins
62 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:38:11
My Toyota broke down this morning... the mechanic thinks it's Corolla Virus.
Kieran Kinsella
63 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:39:13

I thought the same about 22 teams but then remembered Klopp, Jose and Pep would complain about extra games alongside Champions League and mid-season friendlies, which seem to be their priority, so I don't see that getting passed. Also, the greedy bastard teams wouldn't want two extra mouths to feed with the TV money.

Ray Robinson
64 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:43:26
But they'd have more matches to show Kieran plus more potential subscribers!!
Brian Harrison
65 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:45:32
Makes you think – had no player or manager contracted the virus, the games this weekend would have gone ahead. So bollocks about the fans... but, once players and staff are infected, it's a different story.

Why we are one of the few countries in Europe not to have banned any large gatherings seems a mystery, as I am sure all the other countries have taken sound medical advice. The chief medical officer said yesterday that he didn't think it necessary to ban large gatherings as at this stage as it would have little effect.

He also went on to say that, by people catching the virus, it would build up our immune system to it, so maybe it's worth a few thousand over-60s dying as the majority will recover.

Patrick McFarlane
66 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:49:48
I can't understand the calls for the neighbours to be crowned Champions with a little under a quarter of the season to go. Yes, they have a massive lead, but it's still not mathematically certain, although it is likely if the fixtures are resumed. As many have said, the relegation places can't just be awarded as they stand at this juncture because Villa have a game in hand. Imagine if it was our club in that situation; would we be so accepting of the Premier League making such an arbitary call?

The Premier League is either resumed at some future point in time and played to its natural conclusion, or it is scrapped and scrubbed from the records; there is no middle ground – perhaps due to the ridiculous VAR calls we have seen this season, it would be best if it became the forgotten season.

Of course, all of this is not as important as the health of our friends and loved ones.

Joseph Mputu
67 Posted 13/03/2020 at 16:50:06
Look fellows, let's be realistic, when football stops it will not restart until this virus has run its course.

The idea that the title or relegation issues could be decided by current league positions is absurd. The fact is that the season will not have been played to conclusion, so it can only be voided. Yes, of course some teams will be very upset by this, but quite frankly their concerns are irrelevant in the context of this unprecedented crisis that the world is facing.

Do football teams really believe they are the only entities that will be economically hurt by the restrictions? The world is on the precipice of an economic meltdown and they need to get real.

One final point. Liverpool FC could be one of the biggest losers and complainers; I however remember a situation back in 1985 when many other teams lost out financially due to the misbehaviour of their fans. What a delicious irony.

Charles Brewer
68 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:19:06
Given developments today, may I suggest that we can reduce people's sadness by having the ToffeeWeb Live Forum held on Monday at the same time as the game would gave been played.

The usual fish and cheese jokes can go ahead and we can resume the discussion of the decline of standards which has seen Costa open in Old Swan.

I will ask for links as usual, there will be the occasional stream of comments consisting of "Fuck", "Shit" "Pickford is shite" and the rest of us wait as the illegal NBC stream slowly catches up. There may also be some "Get innnnnnnn" and "DCL only championship standard?" and a couple of commentators calling each other wankers and suggesting that if this was a pub they'd be heading for the car park.

In these dark days, we need to keep some semblance of normality.

Brian Wilkinson
70 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:25:44
We could do, Charles – very good idea. I bet your bottom dollar will still get the odd poster moaning about our fantasy line-up for the game.
Kim Vivian
71 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:26:48
Charles - great post and bang on the money. Still laughing. But you forgot the liberal criticism of the mercenary Anchelotti (sic)!
Patrick McFarlane
72 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:32:08
Perhaps TW editors or readers could get the whole article from the Times (I can't - due to it having a paywall)

The FA chairman Greg Clarke has told the Premier League that he does not think the domestic football season will be completed, sparking fears of huge financial repercussions for the clubs.

Clarke attended the emergency Premier League meeting in London yesterday, which concluded by suspending the Premier League, EFL, the FA Women's Super League and the Women's Championship until April 3 in response to a series of coronavirus cases across the game.

Tony Everan
73 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:50:26
Charles @68,

Costa in Old Swan? Has the transfer window reopened to entertain the masses?

David Greenwood
74 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:51:32
That's a great idea, Charles.
Colin Glassar
75 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:55:07
I'll start, Charles.

Ossie out and Hibbo is shite!

Martin Mason
76 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:58:31
Liverpool got lucky again. We were going to annihilate them on Monday.

I'd like to see them stop games for a year or so, so that we can strengthen the side before playing again.

Ray Roche
77 Posted 13/03/2020 at 17:59:48
Bill @54,

You ask for my alternative. Abandon the league and start afresh next season. Same teams, same fixtures.

You ask a Villa fan if he wants the league stopped now just so the RS can be presented with the title. You can't relegate teams who have a real chance of staying up. It's immoral.

The RS haven't won yet, anymore than Villa have been relegated. I tell you one thing: whatever is decided will have money as the motive.

Pat Kelly
78 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:00:31
During the Live Forum on Monday, which I think is a great idea, we will just have to pretend Everton are playing. We have had plenty of practice after all.
David Greenwood
79 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:00:31
Fucking change it, Moyes. Scottish twat...
Brian Wilkinson
80 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:05:41
If the Premier League is declared null and void, a few have said Karma etc.

What do I think? Well, after that banner they have at Anfield with The European Cup and Steua Bucharest on it, I will certainly be having a giant banner made with a Premier League trophy and 2020 Coronavirus on it.

Too right, I'm bitter!

Brent Stephens
81 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:11:50
If a decision were to be made for the season to end prematurely and for it never to be completed (with the rs deemed to be champions), would that be a decision to be made by the Premier League and not the FA?
Bill Gienapp
82 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:11:54
If the season is declared null and void, like it just never happened, does that mean Silva is our manager at the start of next season?
Brian Wilkinson
83 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:18:19
Or Sigurdsson never played a bad game.
John Boon
84 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:19:18
As mentioned in an earlier post, I was delighted to have been able to avoid a trans-Atlantic flight from Canada with my son and my son-in-law. A special treat for my son's 50th and a chance to see the derby and meet up with John McFarlane and hopefully some other ToffeeWebbers. It was all set up for a great week.

I was brought down to earth by my wife of 52 years. I was delighted and very lucky to have dodged a bullet by cancelling the trip. I was even higher as I was explaining how this would negatively affect the RS... Karma!

Before I got too ecstatic, she decided that I would now have time to do about 25 boring jobs around the house. Worse still, the old excuse of "I just HAVE to watch this game" would no longer work. The instant Karma on the RS has backfired once again on this long-time "Blue". Help!!!

Brian Wilkinson
85 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:20:13
Here's one: let's say, as many have said, it might peak around May... so, if the season resumes mid-June, what happens to players contracts that run out on June 1st?
Mike Gaynes
86 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:20:51
Hey Pat...


John McFarlane Snr
87 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:24:37
To me, there is only one solution, and that is to resume playing, and completing the outstanding fixtures as soon as possible, no matter when that might be. It would be unbelievable if the season was to be declared null and void because, at the moment, the players are [presumably] enjoying an extra mid-season break. So, on the resumption, it would be fair to expect that they would be raring to go.

Instead of going on money-making excursions, clubs could concentrate on preparing for the 2020-21 season. If the problem means starting early and finishing late, so be it. Shorter close seasons may be necessary and it may take a while, but the normal routine will eventually be restored.

Patrick McFarlane
88 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:28:13
Mike #86,

Your stream must be behind – it's gone to VAR and Sigurdsson was caught offside sitting in his sun-bed sipping gin slings.

Brian Wilkinson
89 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:29:09
John @84, I would happily come round and do those jobs, even stick my hand down to unblock your toilet, if it meant the season was null and void and stopped that shower from being crowned Champions.
Bill Gall
90 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:29:14
Ray, I agree with your comment that money will be the motive and the complaints will be from the media and Sky Sports who will all be losing large amounts. I doubt if any subscribers will get any sort of rebate... I guess it will be "Dammed if you do, or damned if you don't" whatever the decision is.
Terry Farrell
91 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:29:47
Jack, you just twanged my heart strings big time. God bless you and your daughter and family and all blues! I'm not religious but you know what I mean!
Kieran Kinsella
92 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:36:37
John McFarlane Sr,

I agree but another interesting thing will be player fitness when it resumes. If no-one has played for 2, 3, 8 weeks or whatever, some of them even having been quarantined. Will they be able to kick off immediately or would there need to be some kind of pre-season to get them back into match-playing shape?

Mike Hughes
93 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:37:08
I've hardly looked at TW for the last 3 or 4 seasons. However, here's my 5 pence worth on coronavirus.

I heard on the BBC that the peak is due in 4-6 weeks - approx 20th April. If true, wouldn't it be fair to assume there will be a decline phase of 4-6 weeks? That takes us to the end of May.

The disruption with about 9 matches to play from June at the earliest would be ridiculous.

There are a lot of unknowns here and given that health and safety should be paramount I think the wise and prudent path would be to scrap this season now.

If any deaths resulted from prolonging the season, wouldn't it leave clubs open to legal action?

Beyond the virus, VAR has made this season a farce. Start again next season. (It's only fair to RS fans as I wouldn't want their victory to be a hollow one. Honest.)

Jim Wilson
94 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:41:38
This is a great opportunity for clubs to get ready for the coming season. This one is over, null and void. Open the transfer window and let us all plan for next season!
Michael Lynch
95 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:41:45
Yes, scrap this season and start next season without the Virus — or the VARus.
John Chambers
96 Posted 13/03/2020 at 18:46:34
Perhaps we could have a stream of a virtual match on FIFA for a Live Forum, surely we could make sure we win that!
Mike Hughes
97 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:15:53
A correction to my post #93

The coronavirus peak is 10-12 weeks away (source Radio 5Live just now). This season cannot be completed. 10 weeks is the end of May / beginning of June.

Playing 9 or 10 games takes the season into July. Knock-on effect to next season. Scrap it now. It's over.

Rob Halligan
98 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:20:09
On dear Mike, what a shame!! 😂😂😂
John McFarlane Snr
99 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:21:50
Hi John [84],

I've just stumbled on to your post, it is a disappointment that we will have to postpone our meeting but, as you said in your e-mail, it gives us an incentive to keep plodding on. I did say in an earlier post that, if the decision to cancel games hadn't been made, I probably would have selfishly opted to attend the game; fortunately, the powers that be removed my guilt complex. This post will be a substitute for an e-mail but I will keep in touch with you.

Hi John [aka] Patrick [88],

Do I detect a dislike of Gylfi Sigurdsson in your post? You disappoint me, because your other contributions are well presented, I'm not an expert by any means, but I believe I can differentiate between humour and cheap jibes.

Hi Kieran,

There may well be a bit of rustiness but, if they are properly prepared in their training sessions, they should be fit enough; there will be no need for extensive training, and every club's players will be in the same boat.

Steve Ferns
100 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:21:54
We should scrap the season and start again. We cannot have clubs relegated without completing the season. You cannot restart in mid summer, play 9 or 10 games plus cup and continental matches, and then have another short break and then a whole new season with the Euros at the end of it.

There's the Qatar 2022 World Cup to fit into the equation for next season already. Restarting the season is the only thing that is reasonable in the circumstances.

Steve Ferns
101 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:25:14
Why's it "selfish" to go to the game, John? It would only be selfish, in my opinion, if you had the virus and knowingly went and so infected people. Unless you are breaking self-isolation or quarantine, there is no need to feel selfish for continuing your life as normal.

The quickest way to get over this pandemic is for healthy people to encounter the illness, have their immune systems beat it, and so pass on antibodies to others. So, John, it would be "selfish" of you not to go!

Rob Halligan
102 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:29:58
Steve #100. You're right, mate, there are too many knock-on effects to continue this season. Let's say, for example, Sheffield United qualified for the Europa League. Due to their low coefficient, they would almost certainly start at the very beginning of next season's Europa League. This is usually the end of June. Their season would just continue from this to the next.

Best scrap the lot, pretend it never happened!!

Patrick McFarlane
103 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:31:00
John #99 It wasn't a cheap jibe, it was a bit of fun with Mike G et al about a virtual match. As it happens, I defended his actions in the actual Man Utd encounter.
Joe McMahon
104 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:41:22
Correct decision IMO. No matter what happens though, would be harsh if Leeds don't get promoted. I'd rather (if possible) the season is finished and the Euros are cancelled; clubs in League One and Two need the income.
Ray Robinson
105 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:44:07
Maybe it's the 2 pints of Guiness kicking in but start next season with 22 teams, as I mentioned earlier, scrap the Community Shield, bring the Premier League clubs into the two cup competitions a round later, scrap replays, make the European Competitions knockout only. That would surely help accommodate the extra dates required and not compromise any competitions / sponsorships.
Simon Dalzell
106 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:45:56
Well said, Jim (No 6).

Void the season!! No debate.

John McFarlane Snr
107 Posted 13/03/2020 at 19:55:59
Hi Steve [100/101] Would you be of the same mind regarding the scrapping of the current season, if Everton were in the same situation as Liverpool? I don't have many attributes, but one I would lay claim to is a sense of fair play. If as you say, we can't have clubs relegated without completing the season, how do you equate that with clubs who are denied promotion?

The reason I would have felt guilty by attending the derby game, was because I wouldn't only be putting my personal health at risk. If I had suffered a 10,000:1 chance of contracting the virus, I would have put my family, and everyone I came into contact with at risk. A terrible chance to take, don't you agree?

John McFarlane Snr
108 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:04:43
Hi John [103] apologies for misinterpreting your comments to Mike Gaynes,
Mike Gaynes
110 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:08:26
No worries, Patrick, I knew what you meant. And since it was all taking place inside my head, you were correct. My stream has been behind since approximately 1978.
Eric Paul
111 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:11:10
John @107,

I'd equate that to a 5-year European ban for doing fuck all during our most successful period in our history.

Bill Watson
112 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:23:25
The solution which will probably cause the least uproar is if the season was voided with no champions, relegation or promotion. European placings would have to be sorted; maybe based on last season? Place prize money would have to be distributed re the placings as they now stand.

If that happens, I may well start to believe in a god and karma. It would really exercise the RS bitters and, as a bonus, it would keep Leeds out of the Premier League for at least another season.

Jim Wilson
113 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:27:56
Liverpool should be glad the season is over.
They were in relegation form.
Gordon Adie
114 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:30:21
David Greenwood. Why is Moyes a Scottish twat? Are you a Moyes or a Scots hater? Or both? I would suggest you come out with that in a wee pub I know in Castlemilk. Twat.
Jim Wilson
115 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:33:14
Gordon - Scotland is a great place with lovely people. Even a country as nice as Scotland will have the odd twat. Moyes is one of them.
Billy Roberts
116 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:42:36
Some brilliant posts on this thread. I think the cash monster that is the Premier League has realised it is still not as big as the welfare of society and the establishment that is the NHS.

I thought: Why not just freeze this season and effectively start completing it when season 20-21 was due to start? Then you realise there is only a quarter of a season to play. This would mean that 3 quarters of the 20-21 season would be obsolete.

Would players on 𧴜,000 a week get paid for doing nothing for months? No. Some posters have made the excellent point of players contracts ending in June, what then?

A brilliant point was made that no team has mathematically been promoted, or relegated or won their league as we stand now. This may ultimately be the deciding factor that abandons this season.

Would this be cruel to Liverpool? Yes.

Do I care? No.

Rob Halligan
117 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:48:42
John # 107. You more than anyone should understand why we want this season to end right now, and THEM not crowned as Premier League Champions. We are talking about a shower of scum who got us banned from Europe through no fault of our own, a ban of 5 years that went on for 10 years, while they were given the first opportunity offered to them to return to Europe.

Them being denied crowned Premier League Champions is a small price to pay compared with what we had to endure from 1985 onwards. As had been said before, they have (hopefully) been denied being crowned Premier League Champions through no fault of their own. We were denied being potential European Champions through no fault of our own.

Is this Karma? Too bloody right it is, and if they are denied being crowned Premier League Champions, then it is fully deserved, and couldn't happen to a more vile scumbag of a club.

Michael Barrett
118 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:49:28
Billy, superb!
Rob Halligan
119 Posted 13/03/2020 at 20:56:20
Gordon Adie, # 114. I know David Greenwood, and he is as Scottish as they come. His local club is Falkirk, of which he attends every home game and a few aways. He is also a big Evertonian. I know he wasn't a lover of Moyes, but I can't vouch for why he said "Scottish Twat".
Mike Hughes
120 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:01:08
If the Premier League this season is null and void, the RS fans will be rightly upset and will start venting their anger.

At which point, we can then start calling them “bitter”!!


Eric Paul
121 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:01:44
Rob @117,

Take a bow.

John Boon
122 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:07:28
For all those who may be frustrated by the RS claiming that they have already won the league, there are other statistics that absolutely prove that Everton have the BEST record in the top level. Something that older supporters will be more willing to use:

1) Won the First Division in 1914, we then kept the title for 4 more years, until the end of the First World War in 1918;

2) Won the First Division in 1939, we then kept the Title for 7 more years.

3) Four plus Seven equals 11

4) The 9 league titles we already have gives us a Grand Total of 20.

May be considered nit-picking but useful when dealing with Red Nitwits. From everything I have been told, we had fantastic teams prior to both World Wars and would have continued to win if Our Champions had not been called to fight for their Country.

Mark McDonald
123 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:13:01
The Premier League or FA has to call the season over.

It just makes sense and is fair to every club whether it's Man City (League Cup winners – the only team to have won anything this season) and teams battling relegation, promotion and potential champions of their divisions.

For all our RS family and friends, I recommend just buying them a few Coronas to drown their sorrows!

Brent Stephens
124 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:21:26
Mark, which organisation calls the shots on what happens with the season? The Premier League? The FA?
Mike Jones
125 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:25:45
Rob #117 and Mike #120. Perfect positioning. Sums up my feelings. I've waited 35 years for this. There was an earlier post in this thread about the Bucharest flag on the pissy kop. I really want this season voided. Karma is a bitch.
Jay Wood

126 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:32:28
Quite simply, what is happening to the global sports calendar as a result Covid-19 is unprecedented in the history of the world.

It's only natural that people will speculate on the consequences of suspending professional sport but, IMO, it's way too premature to do so.

We are in mid-March. UK professional football will not resume (at the very earliest) before 3-4 April. There is absolutely zero guarantee that football (or other sports) will be able to resume on that date.

I would hazard a guess that, having now pulled the handbrake on the sport, when – IF! – this season resumes, then it must be with the guarantee that the worst has passed.

Looking at the Wuhan lockdown model, it seems highly unlikely that the sporting calendar can realistically or confidently be re-initiated in just 3 weeks time.

With every additional week lost to this sporting shutdown, the greater the likelihood that (in the case of UK football) this season's fixtures simply cannot be completed.

Tough on teams fighting for titles and promotion? Of course it is. But equally so, it would be patently unfair to declare as some have proposed that should leagues not complete their fixtures that titles, promotions and relegation should be decided as the tables now stand. Any club relegated on such a ruling would quite rightly challenge it through the courts, causing even more bedlam.

As I said in my opening, it is way too premature to make pronouncements on what should be done should league fixtures not be completed by a certain date. But there will be a tipping point in the calendar when it becomes impossible to complete the season without seriously impacting on the following one.

Is the issue not further compounded that national leagues around the globe were intending to already make adjustments to the 2020-21 fixtures starting and finishing times to be able to accomodate the absurd staging of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in the northern hemisphere's winter months?

The postponing of this summer's Euros may, just may, afford national federations a bit of wriggle room to extend and complete this season.

But right now I'm leaning towards the likelihood that many a European Football League will declare this entire season as null and void and start from scratch again in August, with no titles awarded and no promotions or relegations made.

And that's not even taking into account the considerable financial hit all professional sports clubs are going to take in the absence of live televised sport. This is a deeply serious Armageddon moment on many levels.

Brian Williams
127 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:43:56
There's no likelihood of the season being declared null and void for a while yet. No decisions will be made before the first possible "restart" on 3 April. From now until then, I'd imagine the Premier League will be working furiously on how to declare the season void if necessary.

There'll be a cut-off date where, if the games haven't recommenced, then the season would be declared void. Latest information suggests this virus will be with us for 6 to 12 months. With regard to promotions and relegations, I would suggest that this present season would "start again" with all teams remaining where they are (league-wise).

I'd imagine no legal challenges for lost revenue etc etc would be upheld or accepted due to the level of the worldwide emergency and the measures taken would come under umbrella of emergency powers that governments have.

To sum up, we'll have to wait a bit for Liverpool to get what's coming to them – or rather... NOT coming to them. 😁

Paul Birmingham
128 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:44:28
Family and Health & Safety – always first and, in my view, the FA will postpone this season, under matters beyond their reasonable control. All football clubs and fans restart late summer, assuming this virus is under control by then.

If it is what it is, then it's the way it is. The RS I work with are already in lament... I think they will be lamenting for a long time.

I sense that Old Nick will try and influence things somehow but, dark forces or not, the chaos that Covid-19, is causing to the nation will have long-term impacts.

Plenty of self-employed people will be knackered, with no income coming in..

Then the irony is that, whilst the RS may not win the title, we have a player with the virus, and I see Bramley-Moore Dock being delayed and potentially the costs could hike by big margins. That could be a big burden on the club's financial constraints.

It's a straight-forward decision for the football authorities and makes sense to cancel and to a degree, we avoid further hammerings like on Sunday.

Interesting days ahead but the family of Evertonians wherever they are will stick together and look after each other, as we do through thick and thin.

This virus will have a huge dynamic on the next season in football and likely too the Euros will get postponed and the Olympics.

Stay safe, and healthy, all.


Mark McDonald
129 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:55:15
Not sure, Brent, #124. The point I was trying to make is, whoever the authorities are (who have the power) to call the season over, to do so.
Brent Stephens
130 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:02:00
Yes, Mark. I don't know either. But it could be significant as to whether Premier League or FA decide whether or not to abandon this season. Which one would be more likely to decide in favour of the other lot? The Premier League?
Eddie Dunn
131 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:09:48
Purely on the matter of the remainder of the season, I cannot foresee when the fixtures could be completed. The government are predicting the peak here in the UK in 12 to 14 weeks, and this could easily change. Therefore, the logistics of completing one season as well as fitting in the Euros and starting next season is a nightmare.

From a selfish viewpoint, it is a good thing that the Reds haven't already mathematically become uncatchable. A couple more weeks and it could have been declared won!

A rather horrid time ahead for everyone but, on the footy front, it is worse for our lovable neighbours! No doubt all of their friends in Sky, BT, the Beeb as well as the papers and radio will try somehow to have it given to them... the complications will stop them from doing so.

There are bets laid on everything, there are the European places, the relegation and promotion issues, and the games outstanding which would/could affect the issues above. A complex problem; not the most important problem we face, but still interesting.

Mike Jones
132 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:15:30
1% of us observing these pages may be dead within 6 months. it's madness how football is still exercising our minds so much... mine included; I'm no different to us all.
Paul Hewitt
133 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:24:09
Mike #132. That means 99% will still be alive. Jesus, I wish people would stop talking negatively. Cheer the fuck up!
Mike Jones
134 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:25:54
Paul #132. I'm all cheered; read post #125.
Paul Hewitt
135 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:30:03
Let you off, Mike.
Steavey Buckley
136 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:30:31
When the Premier League returns in 3 weeks time, matches will have to be played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus, as the numbers of those infected with the virus increases at around 20% per day.

Under these circumstances, the Premier League will have to make sure all matches should be accessed through the internet for free, because season ticket holders have already paid to see their teams for the whole season.

Kieran Kinsella
137 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:41:14
Given projections about the virus peaking in May or June, I am proposing an efficient though controversial idea to wrap up the season.

Award Liverpool the Premier League title based on their immense lead. Give Man City a Champions League spot based on winning the League Cup. In July, in lieu of regular preseason, finish the FA Cup with the two finalists getting the remaining Champions League places. Barring Tottenham, all the Champions League contenders are still in the FA Cup. If Man City are finalists, the extra spot goes to the best losing semi-finalist.

Also, set up a straight head-to-head playoff with the bottom three in the Premier League against the top three in the Championship, ranked from 18th through 3rd, so, for example, Bournemouth v Fulham, winner goes to the Premier League, loser to the Championship.

Leave the rest of us as we are, divvying up the Europa League places among the best finishing FA Cup teams who aren't in the Champions League.

I know right, you all hate the Liverpool part but, from a football point of view, this to me seems the least extensive way to get some kind of resolution to the season.
Brian Williams
138 Posted 13/03/2020 at 22:55:04
I can't see any of that happening, Kieran. There's two scenarios (in my book):

One, the season is completed.

Two, the season is declared void.

Mark Andersson
139 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:05:16
As always, some great and funny posts.

Karma if true?? Then we must have done something really bad to have endured the last 25 years. Let's hope that we have now paid our karmic debt...

Mike Jones
140 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:08:12
You cant be 'given' a title based on 'immense lead' if not mathematically beyond touch. Lots of other things I could add about relegation and promotion throughout the pyramid, but I won't.

I'll just say that 'the shite' haven't won it. I never wanted a winter closedown... c'est la vie.

Rob Halligan
141 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:10:54
Whilst it's still mathematically possible for the shite to be caught, then the Premier League cannot just give them the trophy just because they are so far ahead.
Mike Jones
142 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:14:23
Agreed Rob #141. My post @ 140 missed a full stop out. But we are on the same page.
Ed Prytherch
143 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:17:13
I kept the December Chelsea game and the February Crystal Palace game on our DVR. My survival plan is to watch them on alternate weekends until the season restarts or is cancelled. I can live without the other sports.
Ian Smitham
144 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:17:57
Kieran #137, have noted your comments, including the words “you all hate Liverpool”. Am assuming that you work in a world where we seek “resolution”, your word. Proposing a “efficient” solution would back up my thoughts. Very management speak.

However, as of a certain age, and having witnessed a certain period in our clubs history, along with the behaviours of our neighbours, I can only support, strongly the valid views of Rob #117 and Mike #125.

You have added your views, and respect to them, but they can not be condoned, shared or agreed with by any self respecting Evertonian.

I do not know of your own age, and respect whatever it is, but the likes of Rob, Mike and me, along with many other “Bitter Blues” (I am proud to be called one) will not be swayed in anything less that hatred for that football club. Probably, for loads of reasons, but for me, what their fans deprived me of, I was at Villa Park, Rotterdam too, and witnessed the horror of the much ignored Heysel.

We should not weaken, remember how that “lot” destroyed our club, and never, ever support them in attaining the one thing they seek most.

Kieran, I know you post much sense on here, but our last post let's you down.

Paul Hewitt
145 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:30:50
Imagine being so close to something. But not getting it.😆
Bill Watson
146 Posted 13/03/2020 at 23:34:06
Kieran; your plan would trigger multiple court cases. For example; why should Aston Villa be penalised in this way just because they have played one game less?

Imagine the uproar if Bournemouth were relegated on the basis of one game vs Fulham and what about the sides vying with Fulham for a playoff place?

There are only two solutions: complete the season, which looks less likely each day, or declare it completed as we now stand.

How can you be certain Liverpool would have won it? They appear to have run out of steam and have hit the buffers good style, losing four of their last five games. Who can say they would have started winning again? They may well have done but it's not a certainty.

There can be no Champions, promotion or relegation if the season is voided.

Brian Wilkinson
147 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:03:17
If the season gets declared null and void, we need a banner with the Premier League trophy and 2020 Coronavirus on it.

Seems only fair to match the Kop's 1986 Steau Bucharest banner.

Paul Birmingham
148 Posted 13/03/2020 at 00:06:41
A season is valid or void; it can't be anything else. This season, for all the valid reasons discussed on our thread, should be classed as void.

There will be no time to play the games, the logistics, Euros. Olympics etc and there's no consideration of the people.

We could have a preseason where our players don't exert themselves. Fighting fit, for next season...

It's tough... That's Life!

Bill Watson
149 Posted 13/03/2020 at 00:09:30
Oops! That posted before I'd finished and the edit button wouldn't work!!

Kieran; extending the season would bring complications of some squad members being out of contract. Would the transfer window have to remain closed and, if so, would some out-of-contract players take legal action if they were prevented from seeking employment with another club?

I would shed no tears for Liverpool – just as they shed none for us when their actions barred us from Europe for 5 years and destroyed the best side in my lifetime (with respect to those who died at Heysel).

The Coronavirus is forecast to peak in June. The only rational solution is to end the season now and start afresh next August.

Patrick McFarlane
150 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:24:26
Reading between the lines from various sources, it would appear that the Premier League won't resume until the start of next season, but apparently there is no objection from the other 19 clubs to the neighbours being crowned champions for 19/20.

Given the U-turn by the government on its stance on mass gatherings overnight, I suspect that Boris and company were persuaded to allow this weekend to carry on as normal until Arteta et al contracted the virus.

Football and integrity never together when a certain club is involved.

Andy Crooks
151 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:38:55
Mike @ 132, made my day, that post.
David Currie
152 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:45:55
Rob 117,

Brilliant post and agree with every word. I will go to my grave resenting those bastards for getting us banned for 5 years when we did nothing wrong. Pretty sure all the players and management staff of that time all agree with you too. Read recently that in Italy they were furious that we got banned for what they did.

The best Everton fans are people like you, I was in Rotterdam that night and no trouble before or after game.

Thanks Rob.

Brian Williams
153 Posted 14/03/2020 at 00:47:29
If "they" were awarded the Premier League title without the season being completed, then logic would suggest the three teams occupying the bottom three places in the Premier League would be relegated and that similar decisions would be made in the lower leagues with the champions and those to be relegated etc.

That aint gonna happen IMO.

The season has to be finished or declared void; I can't see any other option.

Dan Murphy
154 Posted 13/03/2020 at 01:05:13
The only fair and just solution is for the English Premier League to be declared null and void with no winner or relegated teams...

And for a line to be drawn under the Scottish Premier League as it stands and the title awarded to the team with a clear lead at the top.

Patrick McFarlane
155 Posted 14/03/2020 at 01:10:26
Dan #154, it's my understanding that the Scottish League has a contingency plan for a season ending prematurely.
Albert Perkins
156 Posted 14/03/2020 at 01:45:44
I think it a possibility as someone has suggested that the virus might take up to a year to fade away. In that case, the season could be resumed around about this time next year. Probably earlier, in which case the players get a rest before the Euro 2020, which will be postponed till 2021.
Tom Roberts
157 Posted 13/03/2020 at 02:27:43
Has anybody got any spare toilet roll that they can send to Dallas, TX? It's like Armageddon over here in the Supermarkets. It puts into perspective what is important and what isn't. Scrap the league this season.

For those Evertonians who weren't around in 1985 let me just remind you that the Champions of England had won 7 out of the previous 9 European Cups. Included in those Champions were Notts Forest (twice) and Aston Villa. It was commonly acknowledged that the EFC team at the time were PROBABLY the best team in Europe and after 1984-85 season we strengthened by signing a certain Gary Lineker. We would have won several European Cups but were not allowed to compete due to our wonderful neighbours from across the park.

I was one of the lucky ones who lived through that period and was at Rotterdam and watched us lift the League Championship trophy and the FA Cup in 1984. I am now 54 and proud to say that I hate those bastards almost as much as I love Everton, even from Texas. If this season was to be scrapped I would celebrate almost as much as when Maggie Thatcher died. Karma is truly a bitch.

To Evertonians all over the world, stay safe and protect your loved ones especially the elderly and the very young. These are scary times indeed.
Billy Roberts
158 Posted 14/03/2020 at 02:28:00
Albert @156

Do you think all the interested parties Sky, BBC, sponsorship, betting companies, food & beverage, the clubs and all of their staff would be prepared to lose a whole season of revenue? As opposed to writing off a quarter of this season?

I don't think that will be a popular avenue to go down. The Premier League clubs have no interest or duty to Uefa to keep Euro 2020 being staged. Euro 2020 will be the least of their concerns.

Ray Roche
159 Posted 14/03/2020 at 06:23:58

I've got some spare toilet roll, Nearly new.Only been used one side.😷

Steve Shave
160 Posted 14/03/2020 at 06:29:59
Tom #157, I had very similar thoughts about LFC and karma; its the only good thing to come out of this. Granted Klopp's statement was classy but inside he must be seething! 😊
David Greenwood
161 Posted 14/03/2020 at 07:20:47
Gordon @114,

Moyes is a Scottish twat because he's Scottish and a twat.

In no way am I suggesting that he's a twat because he's Scottish.

I could have said oh I don't know ginger (well grey now), cowardly, duplicitous, tactically inept or sleekit, would any of them have been as offensive to the good citizens of chateau du lait?

Moyes never believed in himself or his club or his players to truly take the next step. And he had got us so close. He did a very good job for a long time but, for whatever reason, he couldn't bring himself to take us further.

The cup semi-final against them being a prime example. Despite a combined best eleven probably having nine of ours and two of theirs he still couldn't get a win.

He deliberately ran his contract down, was very disingenuous about the sequence of events in relation to his move to Man Utd, and offered 㿈 million for our then two best players, before buying one of them for 㿇.5 million. (If I was Baines, I'd be brutally insulted at being the second-best left-back in Europe at the time and my old boss thinking I was only worth 𧺬k.)

I don't hate Moyes, I don't hate anyone (well maybe the RS) but I'm pretty certain referring to Moyes as a Scottish twat was factually correct. As were you when you called me a twat!

Any time you fancy meeting for a pint in the city centre and discussing all things blue, no problem.

Ian Fisher
162 Posted 14/03/2020 at 07:32:49
Just void the season or sport becomes irrelevant.

Hare and tortoise situation, let's just declare the hare the winner because he's gonna win. isn't he??

We can always remind our lovable neighbours of Esha Ness, the horse that won the National. But didn't.

Ray Roche
163 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:03:04

My immediate reaction to Klopp's comments were that he's been given a “heads up” that the Liverpool will be awarded the title regardless of not actually winning it. He can now be as magnanimous and humble as he likes because he knows that LFC will be looked after because WE all know that they're the cash cow for the Premier League and will always get what they want.

Hugh Jenkins
164 Posted 14/03/2020 at 08:59:18
Lots of interesting points and arguments on the subject of postponement or voiding of the leagues.

I think one thing is almost certain though, the approach across all leagues (at least in the UK) will have to be consistent.

That means that if the RS are awarded the title (whilst they can still mathematically be denied it) then all the other leagues from the championship downwards, will need to accept that the finishing positions, as they stand today, in all those leagues, are the final positions.

This too must also be true of the relegation positions.

The problem with that is, any team relegated, that mathematically, could be saved, will undoubtedly object and may sue.

So, the only "safe" thing that the leagues can do, is declare the season void, if they cannot resume on or after 3 April 2020.

There may be much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth from certain quarters, but that is the only legally safe option for the leagues to follow.

Keith Harrison
165 Posted 14/03/2020 at 09:44:19
Davie, 161. The bigger man as usual pal, well said.

Have to go, missus is away on a hen do and I need to get the toilet roll out of the washing machine and peg it out while it's still fair outside.

Kim Vivian
166 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:08:18
Ray - 159. If that means it's half price, I'll take a roll.
Charles Brewer
167 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:40:14
There is one and only one criterion for winning the Premier LeAGUE: that you have the most points on the final day after the final match. (Goal difference may be required.) The trophy may be awarded when a team cannot be caught but this is not strictly winning the league.

Liverpool will (hilariously) have achieved neither and so, despite being dominant all season, they have not, and will not, win the title even if some sleazy deal is done to award it.

If they are, through some corrupt deal, then I hope that “You've never won the title” will ring in the Kopites' ears from now to eternity.

Derek Knox
168 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:40:25
I fail to see why Liverpool should be awarded the Champions Title prematurely based on past performance for this season. Ostensibly they could lose every game of the remaining fixtures.

I know this is highly unlikely, but while it is mathematically possible, it could be argued that if Man City was to win every one of their games, they could overhaul Liverpool.

The same has to be the case with Clubs in the relegation zone, how many times have we seen a Club destined for relegation, suddenly go on a winning streak and avoid it?

I just hope that sense and sensibility prevails when the powers that be re-convene to decide on what happens, but if Lucifer is part of that group the RS will get their way again.

James Marshall
169 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:42:16
They won't declare it null & void. They'll restart this season as & when it suits the whole of Europe in each country and get it completed.

Next season is more likely to be cancelled if this one can't be completed for say, 6 months (plucking a figure out of the air here). The point being, why even consider the new season until this one is complete.

The 3-week postponement is definitely going to be extended, I would suggest, and given that the UK isn't expected to reach peak-infection for another 10-14 weeks, that's anything up to around the middle of June. You then have to add even more time for the virus to really die down before resuming large scale gatherings.

I reckon they'll scrap the Euros till next year, restart this season in the summer, then start next season a bit later than normal.

Tom Bowers
170 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:52:36
Agree entirely with the foregoing arguments. You cannot determine anything even if the whole season is now finished. It would be ludicrous to crown RS champions and not finalize all the champions of the other leagues and playoff winners, not to mention relegation teams.

Just because RS have that big lead should not entitle them to a premature crown even though it would be a miracle for them to squander it.

Moyes is a phoney and everyone knows it except the bosses at West Ham.

Eric Myles
171 Posted 14/03/2020 at 10:59:44
Tom #157, here's a thought for you.

There's millions of people in India, China and Africa that have never seen toilet roll.

Simon Hermansen
172 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:38:51
Finish this season when the time is right (everything points to June after the peak) and delay the start of the next season. To facilitate this, cancel all next season's domestic and European cup competitions. Simple!
Brian Wilkinson
173 Posted 14/03/2020 at 11:57:55
Steve @60, he came out with a class statement to get people on board when it comes to the crunch.

Had he said we should be given the title, every man and his dog would have been against it.

Christy Ring
174 Posted 14/03/2020 at 13:52:11
I would love to see the season scrapped; what goes around comes around. When our team and manager were dismantled because we couldn't play in Europe, because of Heysel, you can bet the redshite and fans didn't give a shit.
Brian Wilkinson
175 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:15:43
How ironic an Everton player, an ex-Everton player, and ex-Everton Manager have caused the Premier League to be shut down.
Bill Gall
176 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:21:25
This is a serious pandemic, but what is the problem with these people stockpiling toilet paper? They can't all be full of shit. Makes you wonder how our parents managed during the war years, and they were rationed.

I worked for 25 years in mining most times underground and that's a place were stockpiling toilet paper would have been appreciated. I think a number of the people stockpiling, as well as depriving the seniors and people who are ill, will be hoping to make a profit. Talk about kicking a person when they are down.

I live in Canada now with a population of over 32 million, there may finally be over 500 or more than a couple of 1000 that contact this virus but I am sure manufacturers produce more toilet paper and wipes than to just cater for a couple of thousand.

Mass stockpiling is just increasing big manufacturers' profits who will not pass on to their customers. Times like this, there is nothing wrong in looking after you family, but there is something wrong in depriving the vulnerable.

Brent Stephens
177 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:40:04
Bill #176 "What is the problem with these people stockpiling toilet paper, they can't all be full of shit".

Bill, I think it was Liverpool's own George Melley who said that, when he was a kid, they were only allowed three sheets of toilet paper per visit: one up, one down, one polisher!

John Boon
178 Posted 14/03/2020 at 14:48:37
As previously mentioned, I am one of a group of three: me, son John "Everton" and son-in-law, Dan, who were coming home from Canada for the derby. Despite a huge disappointment, we really dodged a bullet with a very last-minute cancellation.

My son had a good idea for the RS. They did not win the Premier League so give them a "Treed Hard" special award similar to a kid in school who gets an award for doing his best even though he came bottom of his class. They could pin the award on the wall or even have an extra copy made to send to Norway.

Gordon Adie
179 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:03:03
Jim Wilson, 115, True Jim, my temperature was a bit high there.
Jay Evans
180 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:30:41
Steve 160, make no mistake, Klopp had absolutely nothing to do with that statement. He's not the classy individual the lickarse press make him out to be.

Anyone who thinks otherwise need only look at his behaviour towards the journalist in his last press conference, before the Atletico game. That is a real Klopp statement.

To further enhance his burgeoning nice guy reputation, he then went on to call his own fans “fucking idiots” whilst they (granted, mistakenly) tried to high-five him when he walked out of the tunnel at the start of their last game.

Him and them deserve everything they get and I am praying that, in these circumstances, that is nothing.

Unfortunately, the devil always looks after his own and alas, I'm certain that will end up being the case.

Michael O'Malley
181 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:46:09
Tom at 157,

I'm 51 and it is scandalous that we didn't get to play in the European Cup. That was a fantastic side, so, if Liverpool don't get the Premier League title, I won't shed a tear. I despise that vile club with all my heart.

John G Davies
182 Posted 14/03/2020 at 15:53:56
Gordon 179,

It certainly was. You never thought it through when you mentioned the boozer invite.

Who would pay for the ale?

Paul Tran
183 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:37:18
If they declare the season void, could they do the same for Cheltenham and give me my stakes back? Thank God for McFabulous & Truckers Lodge today!

Got to be two outcomes:

1. Stop the season at current placing.

2. Void the season and start next season when possible.

Historical precedent and my confirmation bias says option 2!

Dean Adams
184 Posted 14/03/2020 at 20:38:37
DG @161,

Moyes was great for the first 5 years, I just wish he had left after the 2009 FA Cup Final. After that, he never seemed interested in taking us forward. Of course, we have discussed this in person many times.

As for him being a Scottish twat, I never doubted you had any intention to insult your own kinsmen. It's a shame that occasionally people get the wrong end of the stick, I'm sure the fella ‘inviting you our' never meant to be offensive!

Shame he couldn't apologise for his mistake, but not everyone is as mild-mannered and polite as you.

Ian Riley
185 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:48:36
A key factor is the virus will still be with us in 6 months time – potentially 12 months before a vaccine is found. What for next season?

This season has 3 months left. The average Ashes tour. Can we put players and staff in hotels for that period and play behind closed doors? Remember, these are fit young men with the medical science teams to back it up. Clubs are training as usual, aren't they?

In three weeks, the virus will still be rising in numbers. No Euros, so the season could recommence in June. A further decision could be made to void next season. This virus is not going away soon. Let's not give up on the season being completed. If it does, so be it... but we will be in the same predicament come the end of August.

The country should be in lockdown now to give the NHS breathing space to put further action plans in place. These are unprecedented times.

Mike Gaynes
186 Posted 14/03/2020 at 21:56:42
Paul #183, congrats on your winners. Just make sure to accept the payoff with gloves on. This virus can actually track on paper money.
Joseph Mputu
187 Posted 14/03/2020 at 22:01:21
Fellows, some fine words here, but if we are being truly honest, we are loving the fact that Liverpool FC players, officials and supporters are currently defecating themselves.

That may in fact be the real reason for the current bacterial tract soft-tissue shortage

Andy Crooks
188 Posted 14/03/2020 at 23:58:23
Thanks to Lyndon and Michael. I think this site will be very important to many of us over the coming weeks. There is a community on here that is not to be underestimated.
Derek Thomas
189 Posted 15/03/2020 at 01:31:05
Jay @ 126; exactly so. We hope that nobody other than the rumoured Walcott has the virus and that he makes a swift and complete recovery... Arteta says he already feeling better, btw.

Therefore, in theory, everybody will be okay in 2 weeks... (unless they show later) and that every club is the same – clear in 2 weeks and that all their ground staff, physios, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, are all okay. Call it 50 people per club in close contact, times 18 clubs = 900... and all their friends and relatives... we're up over a couple of 1000 people now, spread all over the country and all their points of contact.

They'll want it to be televised if played behind closed doors. So that's 9 TV crews and staff, comentators and pundits.

Sorry, the maths don't support it – won't happen.

They'll be doing well to get it going again in August – with or without the crowds.

On a happier note, all this hand washing and large scale 'social distancing' should see a drop in reportable cases of food poisoning... I expect in 3 or 4 years – if I'm still here to see it – a report castigating the fact that food poisoning is back up to pre-virus levels, as everybody quickly gets out of the habit of washing their hands (and they will; people are lazy).

We will have macro social distancing which will lead to micro personal closeness as we all go into lock-down. This will result in a spike in the birth rate in the New Year.

On the shortage front, I noticed in my supermarket there wasn't an onion to be had – people may be waking up to the fact that they may have all the pasta, but you can't make much with toilet paper.

Any odd shortages by you?

Ed Prytherch
190 Posted 15/03/2020 at 02:23:49
For anyone in the US who needs a soccer fix, the Galatasaray - Besiktas match is on beIN Sports at noon Eastern on Sunday.
Steve Brown
191 Posted 15/03/2020 at 02:46:37
The league is finished for the season and it is just waiting confirmation of the final decision. If Europe puts aggressive measures in place, the rate of confirmed cases might level out by the end of June.

Freezing the league and awarding the title to the Shite will be fought tooth and nail by the bottom 3 clubs, so the only viable option is to declare the season null and void and hope that preseason can start in July. If that is what happened, the pure karma of it would be exquisite. I am already enjoying listening to them squeak now about the injustice of it all.

Paul Tran
192 Posted 15/03/2020 at 07:16:35
Thanks Mike #183, it's just a case of getting back a bit of what I gave the bookies at Cheltenham! All done online, no notes exchange hands!
Billy Roberts
193 Posted 15/03/2020 at 08:20:38
Amongst all this genuinely brilliant discussion nobody seems to be mentioning what the players want to do? The PFA as per usual for the richest but most lilly-livered union have said nothing on behalf of their members as far as I'm aware. Yes, they are contracted to play but this has now entered a different area altogether.

When governments get involved and declare states of emergency, when flights are grounded! What the Premier League wants to do and gets to do is out of their hands... except awarding the title to Liverpool and all the current league leaders and relegating and promoting all teams in current positions.

Would this be fair? No, clearly not.

Just because Liverpool appear to be the biggest losers in the alternative scenario of a void season shouldn't be a reason for it to not happen. The fact that it would make so many Evertonians happy is just a bonus. Do it.

Jim Wilson
194 Posted 15/03/2020 at 10:14:53
Liverpool playing Madrid and allowing 3,000 Madrid supporters to come over from a city already infected by the C virus is the most reckless action I have ever known in British Football.
If the city of Liverpool suffers more than most cities someone needs to be accountable for putting football before the safety of people.
Well done to Everton for acting as soon as they suspected one of their players might be affected.
That was the correct approach.
Peter Mills
195 Posted 15/03/2020 at 14:30:40
On the subject of food poisoning and there being an onion shortage, may I urge everyone not to do what a pal of mine did a couple of years ago.

He discovered on Christmas morning that he was short of an onion for the stuffing, so he used a daffodil bulb instead. He put the whole family in hospital.

They didn't come out til Spring.

I'll get my coat.

Andy Crooks
196 Posted 15/03/2020 at 18:03:16
Made my day, that, Pete!!
Ian Riley
197 Posted 15/03/2020 at 20:41:50
Don't worry about this season. If the estimate is correct in The Guardian then next season is very questionable. The figures published are grave and football will not be important for at least 18 months before some normality has arrived. Life it self will be very different and many tears will be wiped away.

Rob Hooton
198 Posted 15/03/2020 at 22:41:31
If this season is null and void and next season starts very late then the corrupt Qatar World Cup needs to be scrapped - a cup built on bribery, slavery and misery should be binned to free up time.
Best wishes to all, glad I came on here for some good laughs too!
Andy Crooks
199 Posted 15/03/2020 at 23:30:33
Top post, Rob. The World Cup going to Qatar shames football, but I guess the FA are beyond shame and FIFA are even worse.
Derek Knox
200 Posted 16/03/2020 at 12:58:03
Peter @ 195, it proves the old adage 'you have to know your onions' almost brought a tear to my eye too. :-)😥
Pat Kelly
201 Posted 16/03/2020 at 14:11:05
So is the live forum up for today's non event ?
Ray Roche
202 Posted 16/03/2020 at 14:21:35
You'l Be the “sole” participant Pat.
Pat Kelly
203 Posted 16/03/2020 at 14:27:59
I guess no one has the appetite Ray
Chris Williams
204 Posted 16/03/2020 at 14:44:16
I see some of panic-bought bog rolls are turning up on eBay 48 Andrex rolls £84.99

Trump also panic buying. Tried to buy 100% of German manufacturers Covid-19 vaccine output for $1B. When available presumably

Brent Stephens
205 Posted 16/03/2020 at 15:35:51
Germany will surely block that, Chris.
Brent Stephens
206 Posted 16/03/2020 at 16:40:00
Ray #202 - nobody taking the bait.
Chris Williams
207 Posted 16/03/2020 at 17:12:28
They have done Brent. None too pleased.

That's my final Trump comment!

Chris Williams
208 Posted 19/03/2020 at 14:50:48
League now suspended to 30/4

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