April Fools' Day: Scandal Rocks Liverpool

I can't believe I fell for this. Again. - Clive Brunskill

Fresh off the heels of the weekend's emotional high and hitting first place, Liverpool's title hopes have been dashed.

After the Tottenham match, both the Liverpool squad and fanbase were on as huge an emotional high as they've been in a long, long time. They'd dominated Spurs for the second time this season, Luis Suarez broke Robbie Fowler's Premier League-era goals record for the club, and, oh yeah, they went in to first place with the title race firmly in their hands.

Now, all that has changed.

In the last few hours, the FA has announced a litany of charges against Suarez and Liverpool that completely change the outlook of the season. Suarez and the club have been heavily penalized in the wake of the scandal that emerged from a recent John Henry interview.

As you may recall, Henry admitted at a sports conference in Boston that he and Liverpool's management "decided not to sell Suarez" last summer despite Arsenal meeting an active release clause in his contract. The FA has rendered a decision on the scandal after Arsenal raised objections over it, and have declared that the striker should never have been eligible to wear a Liverpool uniform this season.

As such, the FA declared that Liverpool has been slapped with a points reduction based on fielding a player they knew to be ineligible to play. Whether or not it's fair to do so in a case with a player undergoing an appeals process, the FA has with immediate effect stripped Liverpool of all points earned in matches where Suarez scored a goal or provided an assist. With Suarez having scored or assisted in seventeen wins and four draws (all but five of his league appearances), that's a loss of a whopping 55 points.

On top of that, Suarez has been suspended indefinitely for apparently failing to comply with the FA's investigation, with some outlets reporting that he might be banned from playing in England again. The whole thing is an ever-growing mess at each step of the way.

That leaves them with just sixteen points, putting them dead last and trailing Fulham by eight points, and eleven points from the safety of seventeenth place. That might be an insurmountable hill to climb with just six matches to go, especially without the club's top scorer. Going from leading the title race to facing almost certain relegation is an absolutely crushing blow, one that the club might not recover from any time soon, especially if the FA brings additional sanctions.

Honestly, where things go from here almost doesn't matter. This might be cataclysmic for the club. Who knew that, looking at what day it is on the calendar, things would have changed this dramatically this fast.

Note: For anybody arriving late to the party, this was an April Fools' Day joke. Just in case that bit in the headline didn't make it clear.

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