The Premier League is still trying to sort out how to proceed after shuttering the league after the cornonavirus pandemic. The league is still planning to resume games with Project Restart, but Ligue 1 became the first major league to cancel the season, crowing Paris Saint-Germain the champions. Outside of a few salty Tottenham Hotspur fans afraid of missing out on the Champions League despite coming nowhere near earning a spot this season, everyone recognizes that there needs to be some conclusion to the season.
For Steve Parish, chairman of Crystal Palace, there is only one logical conclusion.
“I want to crown Liverpool champions and give every other club a fair crack at the best league position they can achieve,” said Parish.
Seems pretty simple. Liverpool, who are currently 25 points clear of the pack, deserve their first league title in 30 years. Everyone else gets what they deserve based on game results. Null and void is not an option.
“I certainly don’t want to have difficult conversations about curtailing, voiding and points per game,” declared Parish. “The ramifications of each are complex and could involve legal challenges that run on for months, if not years.”
The Crystal Palace chairman also feels the financial implications of restarting the league are massively important and should also be a factor in the decision.
“[I]t is partly about the money. And we should all care about the money,” said Parish.
“Nobody wins if the Premier League receives less money. Football is one of the most efficient tax-generating industries in Britain: we pay the players a lot but 50% goes straight back into the public purse. Overall we pay about £3.3billion in tax every year and it is the Premier League that largely funds the whole football pyramid.”
Parish warned that if the Premier League does not restart, the football pyramid in the UK could see clubs in dire straits.
“Some Premier League clubs are already warning they face crisis if they cannot get back to playing, and in the EFL many more may face extinction.”
Beyond the sporting and financial reasons to restart the season, Parish believes that the game itself can provide a needed distraction to the difficult circumstances.
“Football is meaningless - but it is magnificently meaningless. It has the power to lighten lives; why not see if we can use that power again?”