West Ham United may be saved from relegation after FA chairman Greg Clarke revealed the season may be cancelled.
Speaking in a statement released this afternoon, Clarke did not mince his words as he said ‘human life was the priority not football’.
West Ham fans have been watching with interest to learn what may happen to their campaign.
All football has been shut down for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 global health crisis.
Football in limbo
It brought a sudden halt to West Ham’s battle against relegation and a plethora of other issues yet to be decided with a quarter of the season remaining.
There has been much debate, speculation and growing uncertainty over what will happen to the rest of the season.
West Ham fans will be watching with interest after a report emerged claiming governing body FIFA will make an important announcement in the next 24-48 hours (Sky Sports).
The Independent reported there is a growing momentum from Premier League figures to void the season. West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady made it clear she feels the season might have to be declared “null and void” very early on (The Sun).
West Ham were predictably accused of self-interest as a result.
But now Clarke has given a clear indication there will be no hesitation to action the contingency plan to cancel the season if he has to (FA website).
FA chairman gives clearest indication yet season could be cancelled
“No one knows how long the lock down will last and what social distancing measures will endure even when the daily rate of infection is much reduced,” Clarke said in a statement on the FA website.
“Our Government is rightly cautious as human life is at stake and prudence is our only sensible option. We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit. However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the Government directs as the pandemic unfolds.
“Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it. The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer…
“Everyone should understand that the Premier League clubs are not immune from the impact of this and whilst they are impacted to different degrees depending on their cost base, the potential overall financial impact is huge.”
West Ham would be safe, but let’s focus on real life survival battle
If the season is cancelled West Ham would be saved from relegation.
The Hammers are currently 16th in the Premier League, outside the relegation zone on goal difference.
With six of their remaining nine games at home – several against teams around them in the table – West Ham would have been confident of staying up.
Whether the season is voided or cancelled as things stand West Ham would be safe.
It is only if the season does resume that West Ham would have to ensure survival on their own merit.