- The Premier League season hangs in a suspended state of limbo after play was brought to a halt in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Should the league be unable to finish out the season, two potential options are in place: either make the results official as they stand, or void the entirety of the season.
- If the league chooses to void the year, it would mean Liverpool missing out on what was nearly a lock to be their first title since 1990.
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The Premier League was forced to suspend play until at least April 30 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The stoppage has left the league in limbo, with the delay possibly lasting into summer or worse as the UK works to contain the virus.
Should the Premier League be forced to cancel the current campaign entirely — an option that has not been ruled out — there would be two options for how they could treat the roughly 75% of the season they've already completed.
First, the league could decide to treat the current table as the final standings. That would see Liverpool winning the title, Bournemouth, Aston Villa, and Norwich City relegated, and the teams set in places 2nd-6th qualifying for the two main European competitions: the elite Champions League, and the second-tier Europa League.
The second option would be to void the current season entirely, which would give the teams currently facing relegation another shot to prove their worth in the Premier League next year, and leave Liverpool without the trophy.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand made his case for the second option.
"I just think the Premier League should be void. Void it," Ferdinand said, per ESPN.
"I know there's going to be a lot of Liverpool fans going: 'oh, Rio, just because you used to play for Man United.' I just don't see a way that can be done where health isn't compromised. Simple as that. All this behind closed doors business — you're still going to have players there, are the players not part of society?"
"There are players who are going to go down with the illness who might not have recovered, or catch it from someone then it spreads to other players," Ferdinand said. "It won't be fair, it's not a level playing field. I just don't feel it's right."
While nothing is official yet, the possibility of Liverpool missing out on their first ever Premier League title, and first English league title since 1990 is beginning to dawn on fans.
The Reds have absolutely cruised through the season thus far, with 27 wins, one draw, and one loss through 29 games, putting them 25 points clear of their next closest challenger, Manchester City.
With just two or three more matches, Liverpool could have secured the title, but with those games now in doubt, it's possible that one of the most dominant seasons in Premier League history will end without a trophy.
On Twitter, fans have shared their disappointment in the potentially failed title run.
Nothing is official yet, and a March 19 meeting between the 20 Premier League clubs reportedly included a commitment to doing everything possible to finish out the current campaign.
According to Laurie Whitwell and David Ornstein at The Athletic, canceling the remainder of the season would come with a devastating monetary penalty to the league, as broadcasters Sky and BT Sport "could demand a total of £762 million" back from the league should the season not be completed.
"Ultimately, we're just businesses that make tiny profits," one Premier League executive told The Athletic.
"If the cashflow dries up we're no different to hotel groups or anything else. If we don't put on the show we don't get paid. If we don't finish the season it's a massive, massive problem."
Should the season be able to complete in some fashion, Liverpool is still a lock to take its first title in 30 years.
That said, if the team does wind up lifting the trophy eventually, there's a good chance it doesn't happen until the summer months.
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