Liverpool stand to lose big time if English Premier League cancelled

Head scratcher: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has had plenty to ponder over since coronavirus kicked off. Picture: Shutterstock
Head scratcher: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has had plenty to ponder over since coronavirus kicked off. Picture: Shutterstock

WWWWWWWWDWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWLW.

It may look like I've dozed off while leaning on my keyboard, again.

But in fact this sequence is not as random as it may appear and actually represents one of the most phenomenal ongoing achievements in world sport.

And one of the highest profile sporting casualties of coronavirus.

It is the sequence of Liverpool's English Premier League results this season.

There are, of course, many more significant victims of this horrendous plague - more than 10,000 in Italy alone at the last count.

And indeed there are few sports on the planet unaffected by it, apart from the Belarusian Premier League which appears to be proceeding oblivious to COVID-19 and has a cracking top-of-the-table clash coming up this weekend involving previously unbeaten duo Dinamo Minsk and Torpedo-Belaz Zhodino. One for the purists that.

Common sense would appear to dictate that the three most likely scenarios are: somehow play the remaining fixtures, finish the season as it is now or abandon it completely and begin next year as everybody began this one.

Still, as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson proved this week, stubbornly carry on with life as normal and the virus is bound to leave you alone.

What's the worst that could happen? Er, on second thoughts, don't answer that one.

In a global sporting context, the destiny of the 2019-20 EPL title represents a fascinating dilemma.

The campaign has been halted after 29 games until April 30 at the earliest. The Premier League has pledged that it could be "extended indefinitely" and is weighing up various solutions.

Common sense would appear to dictate that the three most likely scenarios are: somehow play the remaining fixtures, finish the season as it is now or abandon it completely and begin next year as everybody began this one.

Each is fraught with complications and Liverpool probably have the most to lose.

Consider the stats, because they are unprecedented.

With 27 wins, one draw (to Manchester United) and one loss (bizarrely, to Watford of all teams), Jurgen Klopp's men are 25 points clear at the top of the table - a lead no team has ever held - and just six points away from being declared champions for the first time in three decades.

Just two years ago, when Manchester City became the first team in Premier League history to break the 100-point barrier, it was questioned whether it could ever be broken. Liverpool could reach 109 this season.

The unexpected 3-0 loss at Watford may have denied the Reds the chance to replicate Arsenal's 2003-04 feat of going through an entire league campaign unbeaten, but they could still become the first team in Premier League history to post a perfect home record - which would also see them pass the three-year mark unbeaten in the league at Anfield.

The 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on March 7 was the club's 22nd consecutive Premier League home win, two ahead of Manchester City's record achieved between 2011 and 2012 and surpassing Liverpool's own top-flight record, set by Bill Shankly's side in 1972.

For some completely impartial perspective of the scale of this achievement, here's the club's website: "It's impossible to ignore the sheer ludicrousy of what this Liverpool team is doing, because the reality is that a season like the one they've produced so far has never happened before, and might never happen again."

It's hard to argue. Even with Scousers.

However, it may all be academic.

With no end to the pandemic crisis in sight, the end of 2020 may ultimately mean an end to season 2019-20.

There are also sound arguments against drawing the line under the campaign as it stands.

Aston Villa, for instance, currently sit in the relegation zone but have played a game less than their fellow strugglers. Victory in that spare match would drag them out of the bottom three - ironically, at the expense of Liverpool's only conquerors, Watford.

And spare a thought for Leeds United. No really, try.

Winners of the last ever Division One title in 1992, Leeds have been out of the Premier League since 2004, dropped down two divisions and faced financial ruin before gradually clawing their way back.

The Yorkshire club currently sits top of the Championship with a Premier League return looking likely.

Completely rebooting the 2019-20 campaign would not only deny Liverpool the title it has craved for 30 years but also Leeds - and indeed second-placed West Bromwich Albion - likely entry to the untold riches of England's top flight.

It would also deny Manchester City the chance to capitalise on perhaps the best result in the club's history, namely last month's 2-1 victory at 13-time European Champions Real Madrid.

It's also worth mentioning here that if this season's Champions League competition is not completed, Liverpool remain reigning champions despite being knocked out by Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

There are no easy solutions.

But while the governing bodies attempt to find some and the rest of us go stir crazy in self-isolation, I heartily recommend the one-month free trial subscription to Amazon Prime.

Liverpool fans can forget their frustrations by enjoying All Or Nothing - the ground-breaking, eight-part, fly-on-the-wall documentary of Man City's record-breaking 2017-18 EPL season - or, alternatively, Make Us Dream - the story of Steven Gerrard's heart-breaking doomed quest to deliver his home club's long-awaited maiden Premier League title.

This story Liverpool stand to lose big time if EPL cancelled first appeared on The Examiner.