The 2019/20 Premier League season has been suspended with the current date for a return being set as the start of June.
However, given the current circumstances in the UK, it seems very unlikely the season is going to resume at that time. In fact, it is almost guaranteed that there will be no chance the season will be able to resume in the normal fashion, with fans inside the stadiums, come the end of June. Its been far from an ideal season for West Ham fans, having struggled for form and points.
If that is the case, what should happen to the rest of the Premier League season, and what would it mean for the Hammers?
One of the most recent suggestions is that the teams in the Premier League can stay in one central location, without having any contact with people outside their team. This is much like the situation for nations when they play in international competitions such as the World Cup or European Championship.
The idea is that matches will be played behind closed doors but with television cameras present so fans can watch the games live at home. Would it be a London venue? Possibly as it is a location where several Premier League clubs are already located.
Teams will have to play possibly three or more games per week in order to get the season finished but that is a compromise they may be willing to make to get the season done. There are several complications including the requirement for medical staff who are highly unlikely to be available due to being required in hospitals throughout the country.
Then we come to the problem of player contracts. Many player and coach contracts are due to finish at the end of June and it may be difficult legally to force players to continue playing for their current clubs if they would like to move to a new team. Therefore, it appears to be necessary that the 2019/20 Premier League season ends before the 30th of June.
One idea, which was to end the season now and use the current standings in the Premier League as the finishing position for each team, will not work. That means teams will be relegated from the Premier League despite still having a good chance of avoiding the drop if they completed all their fixtures.
Then you have the push for Champions League football and there are teams currently sitting just outside the top four who could have qualified for the competition next season. West Ham are currently hovering above the relegation zone on 27 points. We are only outside the drop zone due to goal difference. If it meant staying up, it would an option worth considering.
Every sports betting platform will be keen to see the Premier League resume as soon as possible and for the campaign to come to a suitable conclusion. Even if this means taking the option of playing all the remaining fixtures behind closed doors and having teams playing a lot of games in a short period of time, it would keep both the public and the betting brokers happy.
The commercial aspect of Football is huge and this has a domino effect for the clubs, not only in terms of gate ticket income, but also sponsorship deals for advertising in the stadiums, club clothing but also gambling. Punters who can’t have a matchday bet are looking for alternative avenues outside of football like in the Asian market such as VOdds, a handicap betting platform. Offering aggregated real-time odds from a comprehensive list of difficult to reach Asian bookies with a growing list of bookmakers, they are offering an alternative to the UK fans looking to bet on sports during the global climate. Users can just access VOdds through vodds.com, vodds.co or vodds.net, or even use a VPN for uninterrupted access, but with the UK fans seeking entertainment elsewhere, it questions whether they will return at all once the season resumes.
We all hope that it will not come to that and the Premier League will find a way to finish the season which involves every team fulfilling their fixtures.
However, one of the other options being discussed is the cancellation of the current season entirely. The thought behind this is that there is no way to end the season fairly for all teams other than calling it void. This will mean every team will be treated exactly the same and although Liverpool fans will suggest they should be awarded the league, it will not be possible if the season is null and void.
We just hope that the bright minds who make these decisions come to the best outcome which will please both the fans and the clubs.