Arsenal could reportedly stand to be the biggest winners if the Premier League season ends up being voided due to coronavirus.
Any decision taken on how to deal with the end of the season would require a two-thirds majority, so 14 clubs, to vote on the final outcome, according to the Evening Standard.
As things stand, the league is due to resume on April 3, but it is widely felt that it’s unlikely to be that soon, and there’s plenty of speculation about other possible solutions to the problem.
The season could be delayed for longer, a shorter playoff system has also been put out there as an idea, while there may also be an argument about simply playing all games behind closed doors as footballers would represent one of the groups least at risk of developing serious symptoms.
However, if the season is voided, Arsenal could get a huge slice of luck and find themselves back in the Champions League.
As also explained by the Evening Standard’s piece, the new season would simply begin based on the standings of the 2018/19 campaign, when Arsenal finished fifth in the table.
With Manchester City also facing a possible Champions League ban, this would mean an extra space, going to the next highest outside of the top four.
You can now see why voiding the season would surely be Arsenal’s preferred outcome given that their form this season suggests they’d struggle to even get a Europa League place. Much will of course depend on the outcome of City’s appeal, but there’s nothing to lose and a lot to potentially gain for the Gunners.
It would likely be met with fury by the likes of Leicester City, Wolves and Sheffield United, however, with the Foxes currently occupying a Champions League place, and with the latter two very much in the running to get one as well.
It will be interesting to see how different clubs vote on this, but one imagines there could be something close to that 14-team majority who’d favour the outcome of the season being voided altogether.
This would be a huge blow for Liverpool, who need just two wins from nine to be confirmed as champions for the first time in 30 years, but the option of simply ending the season based on current standings would hurt more teams as it would deny the bottom three a chance of escaping the relegation zone, while Manchester United could be up there with Wolves and Sheffield United as hoping they’re in with a realistic shout of a Champions League place.