Football has been left in a mess thanks to an unprecedented health threat which has seen sporting events cancelled across the globe.
There is no easy way to resolve a season which has been paused three quarters of the way through.
Here’s my solution which could work through to past the 2022 World Cup.
Step 1: Forget Euro 2020. Cancel it. Not postpone to 2021, just forget it altogether.
It was a mish-mash of an idea anyway, held in different countries. In cancelling it, not one host nation misses out and the downside is minimal.
Something has to go, and the Euros are it.
While we are at it, cancel the UEFA Nations League too. It will only get in the way over the next few months.
Now, bear in mind the Winter World Cup in 2022 which was due to play havoc with the calendar anyway. Now we build to this.
Step 2: Resume this current season to run from late July-August. Begin in June if we are lucky.
While tempting to void the season altogether, continuing it at a later date will solve a major headache in terms of Champions League places and promotion and relegation.
Have it play out, and there will be fewer arguments and legal disputes.
Ensure temporary contract extensions are granted so clubs keep hold of players until the campaign is completed.
Step 3: Next season begins October 2020 to run to July 2021.
Step 4: Following season October 2021 to July 2022.
Pause in February-March 2022 for entire World Cup qualifying schedule back-to-back.
April 2022-October 2022 resume club season.
Step 5: December 2022: World Cup in Qatar.
Step 6: Next league season February 2023-December 2023. Or, a unique short-season running February to May without relegation but with special one off trophies, ahead of a traditional resumption from August 2023-May 2024.
This will mean a complete shift of the sporting calendar away from ‘end season in May and begin in August’, but there’s no reason to be tied to this.
A move to a different type of calendar needs to take place to accommodate the controversial winter World Cup in 2022, and this way we can build to it, rather than have it disrupt a normal season.
A UEFA meeting is due to take place today to discuss this topic.
I don’t expect firm resolutions, but do think the Euros will be postponed indefinitely, which will eventually lead to them being scrapped. Would any one really be bothered?
How are you finding the lack of football? There is certainly no shortage of topics to discuss and while this uncertainty drags on I don’t believe we will run short.
Despite the games being cancelled, United are back in training today, look out for photos later on. Perhaps we will see Fernandes and Pogba training together for the first time.
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