The season may not be able to be played out. That’s the reality, and it’s one most Liverpool fans and most fans of all clubs understand. Not able to be played out, though, doesn’t mean we can just reset the clocks to August, 2019, and pretend none of it happened.
Abandonment is a real possibility even if getting to watch football again—getting to watch sport again, in any form—would be a welcome respite and a sign that, perhaps, we can slowly inch our way collectively back towards something resembling normalcy.
Yet even if abandonment occurs, it’s clear the results of the season-to-date will matter, which France’s Ligue 1 offered another marker of by declaring Paris Saint-Germain champions today. PSG were 12 points clear with a game in hand based on the final table.
In France, with Sport having been declared off limits until at least September by the government, there is no question now it is the final table. Further, Ligue 1 appear to have gone a step further and determined their method for relegation and European placement.
While that aspect still has to be ratified, it is being reported as a near certainty by L’Equipe that points per game will be the metric used rather than awarding points for a game in hand or rolling back the table to an earlier iteration. It is a hard approach to argue against.
Rolling back the table would have wiped away real results while awarding points for a game in hand—as happened in Chile last year—would have created them out of air. Points per game, though, respects the results—all of the results—of Ligue 1’s 2019-20 season.
It also appears to align with UEFA’s demand that results for the season and European placement be based on sporting merit. Meanwhile, in the abandoned Belgium Pro League Club Brugge have been declared champions pending a ratification vote on May 4th.