West Ham United could be safe from relegation after a UEFA demand to Premier League.
All football has been shut down until April 4th due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
Football season resumption in serious doubt
Karren Brady was widely criticised for writing in The Sun that the season should be “null and void”.
That is despite vast numbers of fans agreeing with her in various polls – read full story here.
Brady was accused of opportunism and protecting the interests of West Ham.
Others feel the season must be completed, no matter when, to maintain the integrity of the competition and football as a whole.
The Hammers are currently outside the bottom three on goal difference.
And they would remain there even if Villa were to win their current game in hand.
UEFA wants Premier League finished by the end of June
They would also remain there should the final standings be calculated on average points.
Now it appears West Ham could be safe by default after a new directive from UEFA.
At a meeting on Tuesday, UEFA agreed to postpone next summer’s Euro 2020 finals by a year in order to free up space for leagues across Europe to finish their domestic campaigns.
According to The Mirror, European football’s governing body has demanded the Premier League is finished by the end of June.
But new government guidelines and timescales on the virus make the resumption of football – or indeed any sport – any time soon highly likely.
Medical experts expect the virus to peak in late May and June (Telegraph).
Virus peak and Hodgson issue make conclusion unlikely?
And even UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the timescale may be wishful thinking.
“We think postponing the Euros was the only way to give a chance to all the national leagues and all the club competitions to finish their competitions,” Ceferin said (The Mirror).
“That is not sure for now but we should now think about the health of the fans and the players. We also have to think about football as a whole, the whole ecosystem of football.”
Even playing behind closed doors could be a risk to players and their families.
There is also the major issue with 72-year-old Roy Hodgson now in isolation for three months under government advice, read full story here.
It would be grossly unfair on Crystal Palace to be forced to complete their season without a manager.
The Eagles can still qualify for Europe. And mathematically they could also still be relegated.
One scenario would could well be implemented is no relegation and promoting the top two clubs from the Championship to form a bigger Premier League.
But that in itself would raise issues.