So, as the pandemic crisis continues unabated, Football’s governing bodies are still trying to work out the best ways for each country to settle its League schedules so that they can plan for next season’s European fixtures.
They have set out the new UEFA Guidelines for completing the season by 8th August, and the Daily “Upshot” newsletter has given us this summary of how things could pan out….
UEFA have set a deadline of 8th August for all European leagues to finish.
They’ve also set out how the season should finish depending on when it restarts:
- Start in June: squeeze in all remaining fixtures and finish season as normal.
- July: cancel most fixtures but settle key league spots (Euro qualifiers and relegation spots) with playoffs.
- August or later: decide final table on “sporting merit” – probably by ranking teams on points per game.
It looks like there’s no suggestion of voiding the season.
Under a points per game system, the current bottom three of Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth would all go down.
But it would mean Tottenham, Arsenal and Wolves all miss out on European football.
Actually that last statement is not quite true, because if Man City’s ban is upheld, Arsenal would leapfrog Tottenham into the last Europa League position on the Points-per-game system, as clearly explained in this post from Tony at Untold Arsenal.
If the Leagues are not completed in time, UEFA continually mention that the final positions should be decided on “sporting merit”, especially for deciding final placings. UEFA said: If a domestic competition is prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons in accordance with the above conditions, UEFA would require the National Association concerned to select clubs for the UEFA club competitions 2020/21 based on sporting merit in the 2019/20 domestic competitions:
That makes it sound like the above points-per-game system look to be the fairest. And if Arsenal can sneak in via the last Europa postion, I’ll be happy with that!