Max Gay explains why campaigning for the Premier League season to be declared null and void is a silly idea.
COVID-19 is the worst part of what has been a turbulent year. Thousands are dead or dying while billions of people around the globe are isolated in their homes.
Of course, while this has been happening, football, as well as all sport, has ground to a halt.
Along with it, there has been speculation of the Premier League season being null and voided.
Whether it be suggested by fans or the mysterious ‘figures’ in Premier League meetings who are often used as sources, accusations of self-interest are thrown their way.
This is, of course, easy to throw the way of clubs hovering above or in the relegation zone.
Many, including West Ham United and Aston Villa have spent tens of millions on new players on big contracts. Relegation in the current climate for these sides would be disastrous.
However, it’s easy to point this accusation the other way as well. If you got onto any social media page or thread where Liverpool fans say they’re against null and voiding, they’re accused of self-interest.
It’s not hard to see why given they are set to end their 30-year wait for the title. However, they’re not alone, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Chelsea and even Manchester United could well be disadvantaged should the season be voided.
An alternative to voiding the season is finishing it and awarding prizes and relegating teams based on a number of options. It could be ended via points per game, current standings or even using the standings from the halfway point of the season to determine results. These proposals are of course unfair on some teams.
Norwich City have five winnable home games coming to ensure their survival. Aston Villa has a game in hand on their rivals. This is without even looking further up the Premier League table.
The reality is,finishing the season now, whether by null and void or by using the options above is unfair on some. However, there is a crucial difference between null and voiding the season and using any of the above options.
The above options reward those who have succeeded in their goals this season. Null and voiding the season doesn’t reward success. It only rewards those who have failed. Whether it be those in the relegation places or big clubs who’ve failed to match their expectations. Sport should reward high achievers. Even a silver medal is a tribute to the process undertaken to reach a final.
If the season is declared null and void, the only winners will be those who have failed. Namely the likes of Tottenham, who spent over £130 million merely to fire Mauricio Pochettino and sit in ninth place under Jose Mourinho. There’s also Aston Villa, who even with the likes of Jack Grealish sit in 19th place in the table. This simply cannot be tolerated.
If this Premier League season is ended without all 38 rounds of matches we will not see a completely fair result. Someone is going to suffer. However, if it must be ended, it is success that must be rewarded and not failure.