After Coronavirus - What next for league football? (poll)

Which of the following should happen when football returns (select all that apply)

  • The 2019/20 League Season is completed (approx 9-10 games per team)

    Votes: 38 62.3%
  • The 2019/20 League Season is null and void, no promotions or relegations

    Votes: 7 11.5%
  • The 2019/20 League Season ends, points per game used to calculate winners and promotions/relegations

    Votes: 13 21.3%
  • The 2019/20 League Season ends, current points used to calculate winners and promotions/relegations

    Votes: 5 8.2%
  • The 2019/20 playoffs are played as normal

    Votes: 19 31.1%
  • The 2019/20 playoffs are cancelled and an additional automatic promotion place created instead

    Votes: 7 11.5%
  • The 2019/20 playoffs are cancelled, with no promotion and one relegated team reprieved per division

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • The 2019/20 playoff semi-finals are cancelled with just two teams meeting in playoff finals

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The 2020/21 league season should be played as soon as possible as normal

    Votes: 13 21.3%
  • The 2020/21 league season should be cancelled and replaced with alternative competitive fixtures

    Votes: 11 18.0%

  • Total voters
    61

shoddycollins

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Thread starter #1
What do you think the priorities should be once football resumes?

Since we don't know when that might be I say priorities, all votes are of course carry the disclaimer that this is once football resumes if practical to do so. This isn't a poll to debate when football resumes, as that is a public health matter which none of us (I don't think) are experts in. However it's probably safe to say that it won't resume until after the beginning of August when the 2020/21 season would normally begin, and with players needing to resume training before resuming competitive games it's almost certainly not going to be possible to do everything, to complete the 2019/20 season in full and follow it up by a complete and largely unaffected 2020/21 season, so something's gotta give, the question is what.

I haven't included the FA Cup or European compeititons in this because there is a limit of 10 options per poll, but for information, the FA Cup is currently at the quarter final stage with eight teams remaining and between 7 and 11 games (depending on replays) to play.

For the same reason I haven't given multiple options for what to replace the 2020/21 league season with, and that depends on how much time there is between competition of the 2019/20 season (assuming that anyone who wants to cancel 20/21 is wanting 19/20 to complete) and June 2021 when I presume we'll be wanting 2020/21 to end on schedule to get things back to normal. There's a few things you could do though, cup competitions could still be played in a shorter period of time, as well as, for example, mini regional leagues of say, six teams each, or cups with group stages.

Another thing I haven't addressed is the idea of playing games behind closed doors, as it is possible that restrictions won't all be lifted at the same time and we will have a period where most things can go ahead but mass gatherings remain banned. If that happens then there might be another debate to have over whether football should begin again or wait until the fans are able to return, and it may well be that players are able to resume training before all restrictions are lifted, but that's for another day.

Finally, yes there will be issues with contracts running out, club finances depending on certain things happening on a certain schedules, transfer windows being scheduled to open and or close at times that no longer work correctly. This will happen no matter what we do, ,football will have to sort it out because not doing so is no longer an option and the wealthy organisations in football will hopefully wake up and realise they can't just look after themselves (but I don't know that, it would be catastrophic if they didn't), and football is not the only area of human activity where contracts are thrown into disarray by coronavirus, there is a legal concept called force majeur that I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot of soon. There's no point debating what is and isn't realistic because realism is a concept that is no longer relevant.
 
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Indian Dan

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#2
Firstly. I think restrictions will, eventually, be lifted for economic, not health, reasons. I’m presuming that over the next couple of months there will be an effective defence available against the virus.

Timescale for a return to ‘normal’ football is impossible to gauge. Some clubs will not survive. That in itself will pose problems. If we lose, say 3 L1 clubs and 6 L2 clubs how are the leagues going to be restructured? Maybe even a Championship club or 2 may fail.

Things, generally, will not return to normal for a very long time. People will still be fearful of large gatherings.

They are thinking of lifting restrictions here in Greece around the 10th of May. Starting with restrictions on the movement of local people, then reopening of bars/restaurants etc and, finally, opening up to flights into and out of the country.

Then when you read Greece will run out of money in June it makes you wonder. Fortunately, Greece has been relatively lightly hit with the virus but people will be fearful of an influx of people from other countries.

In short, it’s all a major clusterfuck.
 

AdamStag

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#3
Basically the authorities need to stop chatting shit about prioritising a season that hasn’t yet sorted.

Even if there’s 12 games left, the players are going to need a fortnight together to train etc before any games go ahead, then you’ve 12 or so games, then the playoffs - you’re looking at 8/9 weeks. If this season is done by September we’ll be lucky.

Sort that out and worry about next season when that’s been done.
 

valefan16

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#4
It’s just so hard to predict what will happen, you read one report that a professor at one place says we could start to come back to relative normality in weeks if we behave, another this will go on to Spring 2021!

I do think 2019/20 should be finished even if that means sacrificing or restructuring 2020/21, we’ve got so far into it and it’s the easiest less damaging way to clubs who’ve done well. I can only talk from Vales position but how can you strip Tom Popes goal scoring record that he broke this season for the club? Or various personal achievements across the board?

The issue is some leagues are doing one thing so somewhere things have to give... if the National League expunges and Barrow don’t go up, do Stevenage stay up? If the Prem can’t be finished due to the Euros next year needing to fit around the schedule for example do the promoted sides who did finish the Championship miss out!

If we don’t finish if clubs go bust does it mean a restructure? Hopefully all 91 remain but it isn’t a given, Macclesfield and Southend have been in a precarious place for a while, Bristol Rovers have a massive debt for a club it’s size, others have been slightly rocky which could plunge them into chaos especially bigger clubs who are in big debts in the Championship for instance.

So much uncertainty that even if it does resume if some clubs do go to the wall various results may become expunged anyway.
 

AdamStag

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#5
It’s just so hard to predict what will happen, you read one report that a professor at one place says we could start to come back to relative normality in weeks if we behave, another this will go on to Spring 2021!

I do think 2019/20 should be finished even if that means sacrificing or restructuring 2020/21, we’ve got so far into it and it’s the easiest less damaging way to clubs who’ve done well. I can only talk from Vales position but how can you strip Tom Popes goal scoring record that he broke this season for the club? Or various personal achievements across the board?

The issue is some leagues are doing one thing so somewhere things have to give... if the National League expunges and Barrow don’t go up, do Stevenage stay up? If the Prem can’t be finished due to the Euros next year needing to fit around the schedule for example do the promoted sides who did finish the Championship miss out!

If we don’t finish if clubs go bust does it mean a restructure? Hopefully all 91 remain but it isn’t a given, Macclesfield and Southend have been in a precarious place for a while, Bristol Rovers have a massive debt for a club it’s size, others have been slightly rocky which could plunge them into chaos especially bigger clubs who are in big debts in the Championship for instance.

So much uncertainty that even if it does resume if some clubs do go to the wall various results may become expunged anyway.
That’s my point about barrow though, as even if Stevenage are allowed to stop up - which I think would be gutting for everyone - there will still be a space left, so imagine that they’d come up anyway
 

Trapdoor

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#6
Even if games need to be played behind closed doors, we should make every attempt to get it done so we can move on with normal life.
 

Camborne Gills

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#7
I voted that next season should proceed as 'normal' . However, the League Cup and Trophy should be binned, the latter permanently, in its current set up.
 

Vanni

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#8
This shit storm has impacted everybody in some way or other. Some poor souls have already lost their lives and the death toll is only going to rise. Others have lost their jobs, and it will take ages before they find themselves in gainful employment again.

Some will say scrapping the league is not fair and they want the remaining fixtures should be played at a later date, say in July or August. What these chaps are forgetting is that won't be fair either if that happens because the match day squads of all clubs will be much changed from the match day squads of only January and February. That's a given as loads of players will soon be out of contract. Would it be fair if the league resumes and (for ex) Macc and Morecame have lost half their regulars while Stevenage have only lost two first team players?

Resuming the league with much changed line ups would be a bigger farce than declaring the league null and void.

Void the season now. Shit happens, just get over it.
 

Super_horns

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#9
Complete the league if they can but how long do you give it before really impacting on next season?
 

Luke Imp

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#10
For me, the order of preference is 1) complete season with fans 2) complete season without fans 3) PPG placing 4) void.

I will caveat 1) and 2) by saying that it's got to come a point where it isn't feasible to finish this season. I'm not a big fan of affecting a second season too much (there are also massive implications with some contracts expiring in June, so too many months further down the line it's another financial outlay). If we can complete this season in June, July, August and we can kick off a new season in September, October then fair enough. With a few more Tuesday games, scrapping the League Cup, Checkatrade and FA Cup replays for a season then you could probably pull it back fairly well. But if it's going to be September, October time then you'll lose a season and again, there are contract issues because player contracts won't run around the new season dates, there's a contract outlay but very little football etc and everything will be completely skewed.

I'd argue that with so few games to play, there's enough to warrant PPG placings if 1) and 2) can't be achieved. It's not ideal and some will feel aggrieved but you can't void a season having played nearly 40 games. At this point, the table will be there or thereabouts, teams have had good runs and bad runs etc and you're pretty much going to be where you deserve to be. That obviously doesn't take into account strength of opposition left to play etc but as I say, there's not an easy or a fully fair way to do it.

But, the issue obviously runs far deeper than my fairly simplistic view. Some sides will have accepted their fate, (Southend, Bolton, Stevenage etc) whereas others will think they can still stay up (Tranmere) and the financial implications for Fulham or someone missing out on promotion to the PL due to an incomplete season runs of millions of pounds. At PL level there's obviously a contract with Sky and BT, so there's another massive financial implication. Player contracts as outlined above etc. It's a minefield.
 

Laker

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#11
I think it’s important to finish the season as that’s what everyone signed up to at the start - you can’t just ignore the results from the last 36 games as it’s completely unfair (and open to huge legal wranglings)
but you can’t promote/relegate teams yet either as the full season hasn’t been completed.

I’d be inclined to say finish behind closed doors but from a financial point of view that sounds like a disaster and fans of some clubs will show up to grounds anyway which would make the exercise largely pointless.

So let’s say (for argument sake) things return to normal in about late August. A pre season for a few weeks and then kick off first week of October. Run through the remaining fixtures, complete the cups etc. Lower league clubs can play Saturday/Tuesday to complete fixtures by mid November.

Promotions and relegations can then happen as normal, the leagues get their full quota of clubs and we’re back to normal.

I’d then say we can kick off again early December but there’s no chance of fitting a full league season in before end of June. The only way I can this working is to go regional for one season (12 teams per division, 22 games per club) and that then gives space for play offs to ensure the right clubs are promoted/relegated. In addition to the fixtures left for 19/20 that would give around 16ish guaranteed home fixtures which is still short but the best possible. It also gives space for the cups to happen which I think actually bring some joy every now and then. Then return to normal from 2021/22.

This would work for the Championship downwards and I’d leave the Premiership to figure out their own solution as long as they still relegate three sides.

The issues raised on players contracts and sponsorship are I agree concerns. But on the player contracts side I think each club will be in the same boat so there’s no impairment of competition. On sponsorship, I don’t know what the solution is but it’ll need a bit of give and take there, and frankly it’s not as important as the competition itself.
 

Indian Dan

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#12
If no football whatsoever - this season’s final games or any new season starting - isn’t for months how are some clubs going to survive with no income? It’s not like a close season with income from ST sales coming in - who’ll buy one until it’s certain when any new season may start?
 

shoddycollins

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Thread starter #13
The other issue with voiding 2019/20 or bringing it to a premature end is that we don't know for certain that we'll be able to play a proper 2020/21, even if doing so is the number one priority. There's a risk that we'd cancel this season, then have to cancel next season part way through too and end up with two missing seasons instead of just one.
 

Indian Dan

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#14
I see a proposal has been put to the PL/EFL whereby leagues are decided by PPG, no teams will be relegated so leagues will be expanded for a while - whittled back down by extra relegation slots in subsequent seasons. This means no clubs are disadvantaged.
 

shoddycollins

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Thread starter #15
If no football whatsoever - this season’s final games or any new season starting - isn’t for months how are some clubs going to survive with no income?
If nothing happens they definitely won't, any club already in financial jeopardy will go extinct and any club currently doing OK financially will end up in financial jeopardy. The elephant in the room is that for the money one of the big clubs might gamble on a big name signing, including wages and agents fees; the entire operating and playing budgets of every League Two club could be covered for a year.

I'm still relatively hopeful that pressure from the public and media will force them to put together an actual rescue package (as opposed to just an advance on a payment that shares a fraction of what is needed across the entire football league, most of it going to already wealthy ex-Prem clubs in the Championship).

I see a proposal has been put to the PL/EFL whereby leagues are decided by PPG, no teams will be relegated so leagues will be expanded for a while - whittled back down by extra relegation slots in subsequent seasons. This means no clubs are disadvantaged.
fuck that sky high
 

Chris FGR

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#17
Given our countries total fuck up when it comes to testing it's getting difficult to see football starting any time soon. Might not play again this year. Millions more will get infected because of the lack of testing as well as the lack of urgency in enforcing social distancing or getting more ventilators. Unlikely to get back to normal for a long, long time.
 

Indian Dan

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#18
Belgium are the first European league to declare their season finished and the positions will stand as they are. Needs to be ratified by EUFA but expected to be a formality.
 

AdamStag

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#19
Belgium are the first European league to declare their season finished and the positions will stand as they are. Needs to be ratified by EUFA but expected to be a formality.
In fairness their league system is weird - in splits like Scotland’s. there was only 1 game left to go with Bruge 15 points clear and announced as champions.
 

Indian Dan

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#20
Yeah, but the other places regarding Champions League/Europa League have been decided using the ‘as you were’ system.
 

AdamStag

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#21
Yeah, but the other places regarding Champions League/Europa League have been decided using the ‘as you were’ system.
actuslly not the case, according to the bbc “a working group will decide this by 15th April” obviously I’ve no idea what that is.

PPG is fair enough but I hope the season carries on as normal
 

Indian Dan

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#22
Quoted as a ‘formality’. Get this season sorted and let clubs get on with planning for the next one - whenever that may be.
 

valefan16

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#23
In fairness their league system is weird - in splits like Scotland’s. there was only 1 game left to go with Bruge 15 points clear and announced as champions.
Yeah they have like a Europa League play offs and stuff.
 

valefan16

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#24
I see a proposal has been put to the PL/EFL whereby leagues are decided by PPG, no teams will be relegated so leagues will be expanded for a while - whittled back down by extra relegation slots in subsequent seasons. This means no clubs are disadvantaged.
Prem would only be affected I assume as three up from Championship none down = 21 teams plus 3 from L1 depending what on Earth is going to be done with the play offs.
 

Indian Dan

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#26
Exeter would fall behind Cheltenham. We’d be top.

So, if no play offs the promoted teams would be Swindon, Crewe, Plymouth, Cheltenham.
 

valefan16

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#28
PPG is a very unfair way as I’ve said before as teams have got a harder run in get an advantage over ones who’ve already faced the top sides and had a easier one on paper.
 

AdamStag

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#29
They should promote teams based on what odds they were to be promoted before the beginning of the season

Go us!
 

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