Richard Keys has slammed the idea of handing the Premier League title to Liverpool this season if the campaign can’t be completed.
The Premier League ground everything to a halt last week as they announced that all games were suspended with the intention of rescheduling from April 4 onwards due to the coronavirus outbreak crisis.
After positive tests for the likes of Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi, squads were having to go into self-isolation and so the decision was reached that games should be postponed, as they have been all across Europe as the pandemic worsens.
It remains to be seen what decisions are taken by UEFA and the Premier League in the next fortnight, but Keys clearly is not in favour of simply handing Liverpool the title if the fixtures can’t be completed, despite their 25-point lead at the top of the standings and the fact that they’re on the verge of ending their title drought after being the best side this season.
“Of course it looks as though they’re going to win the title. But they haven’t won it. Who knows? Their form in recent games has been sobering for their fans,” wrote Keys, as reported by the Liverpool Echo. “They’ve been poor. Very, very poor. Have Klopp’s infamous demands of his players caught up with them again – as they have in previous seasons?
“Has last season’s fantastic chase of City left them empty? We don’t know. And we might never know. Apologies, by the way, If your team plays lower down – but who cares about that? Liverpool fans appear not to. I left you out of the argument to make that very point.
“I read of plans to re-start the European competitions with mini-leagues to sort out a winner. It’s meaningless. It’s not how the competitions work.
“No. Liverpool can not be handed a title they haven’t won. Nor can Celtic. Nor can Barcelona or Juventus. It’s tough – if like my team you’ve worked hard all season to put yourself in a position to achieve something – but it’s only fair on the majority.
“I’m sorry Liverpool – if you take a title you haven’t won it will forever be tainted. It will always be the ‘title you didn’t win’. And the same goes for Celtic, Barca, Juve.
“Let’s hope things settle down, but please, while there are many many more important things to worry about, let’s stop the fanciful nonsense. Liverpool have not won the title.”
It will be seen as a bizarre opinion and questionable reasoning by many, although it remains to be seen what happens in the coming weeks as the Premier League will ultimately need to make a decision.
Perhaps the hope for all concerned is that UEFA opt to postpone EURO 2020 at their meeting on Tuesday, thus at least opening up the possibility of allowing the domestic campaigns to finish by running into the summer.