As much as fans would love to see Liverpool’s wait to lift a title go beyond 30 years with this season voided entirely, Manchester United supporters may be better off looking closer to home.
Liverpool’s Premier League title success under Jurgen Klopp is inevitable, and sporting integrity would have to come into question if the season was to be voided at this stage.
United, meanwhile, had reached a crucial stage in the season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with things starting to look up at Old Trafford.
The Reds are currently fighting on three fronts; for the Champions League places in the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the Europa League which would enable qualification to Europe’s elite competition.
It’s imperative for the long-term future at the club that United qualify for the Champions League this term and there are two fantastic opportunities available through finishing in the top four and lifting their second Europa League crown.
This is why Thursday’s FA announcement on the further postponement of football is encouraging for United.
The Football Association have further delayed professional football until at least 30th April due to the coronavirus outbreak. In truth, even this date seems very optimistic given the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading.
But there has also been a change in laws that mean the season can be finished beyond June 1st.
“We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so,” the FA’s statement shared by Sky Sports read.
“We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.
“The FA’s rules and regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.
“However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football.”
It is is very uncertain as to what will happen next season with a truncated campaign possibly required in order to play the remaining games out this summer when football returns.
But Solskjaer will be confident his players can secure Champions League football which validates the fact that the club are going in the right direction under his stewardship.
Champions League qualification would afford United more authority in the transfer market as they target some elite stars to improve the squad. Jadon Sancho, in particular, would surely be more convinced over a move to Manchester if the Reds are competing in the Champions League.
Also, the club would suffer a significant hit financially if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
As reported by the Evening Standard, failure to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season would affect their huge kit sponsorship deal with Adidas.
United face a 30% cut in their sponsorship contract if they fail to qualify for Europe’s elite competition once again, which could cost them around £22.5m.
If the decision had been made that the league was voided, the Reds would miss a key opportunity and have to settle for more Thursday night second-rate European football.
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