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Football Thread 2019/2020


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The problem is, if the aerial picture is accurate as to how they're going to pack them in, as soon as they open the window they might as well be in the stands.

 

And even if they don't, if they're there for 2 hours it's going to make its way round everyone anyway.

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League one appear to have had the bright idea to make the teams vote on whether to finish the league or award promotion/relegation on PPG now.

 

Shockingly, those in promotion places say no.

Those in playoffs who think they can get promoted or those that think they can get into the playoffs say yes.

Those avoiding relegation say no.

Those who think they can get out of it say yes.

 

Likely if they force them to vote it's going to end with "Stop the season" winning 12-11.  At least it's a division with an odd number right now.  

 

But there's going to be fights, Wycombe are 8th but PPG puts them 3rd and kicks Peterborough out of the playoffs.

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If the Premier League restarts with empty stadiums, then all clubs will experience what it feels like to be Manchester City.

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2 Fulham players/staff tested positive today. A few clubs now with at least a couple of cases.

 

I know 2 out of 50(?!) is small, but given none of them have been at work yet......

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3 hours ago, Ork1927 said:

2 Fulham players/staff tested positive today. A few clubs now with at least a couple of cases.

 

I know 2 out of 50(?!) is small, but given none of them have been at work yet......

 

Sure, but they've been at risk to the same extent as the rest of the population in the meantime and so you'd expect a small number of positives.

 

I do think outdoor transmission is probably generally pretty rare in any case and even in a sport with man-to-man marking and corners and so on that the risk is quite low. With the testing regime on top, I reckon this has quite a good chance of working out.

 

(Obviously putting in place nationwide policies to generally reduce contact either indoors or outdoors was perfectly sensible but I do expect that the eventual conclusion will be that the number of outdoor transmissions was always insignificant.)

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If the first set of fixtures in germany proves anything its that neutral grounds is a red herring, could be a quirk and anomaly of so few games but home teams are not winning much

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2 hours ago, spork said:

Did they ever decide on things like neutral grounds, relegation etc?

 

Presumably they're shooting for normal relegation at the moment. Unless the EFL causes trouble with that.

 

Neutral grounds seem to have dropped off the agenda as far as the media goes but I know they're still being kept in mind - I guess it'll depend on how the first sets of fixtures goes, worries about big local derbies and so forth. If we get crowds turning up outside a stadium then it's the kind of thing they might try to do before they'd get the whole thing binned again.

 

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Article I read earlier said that a few fixtures will be at neutral grounds and they'll be at the request of the police rather than the league or FA.

 

So it'll only be derbies or big rivalries.

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4 hours ago, Gotters said:

If the first set of fixtures in germany proves anything its that neutral grounds is a red herring, could be a quirk and anomaly of so few games but home teams are not winning much

 

It probably is.  They touched on it on Football Weekly (or some other pod I listen to) when discussing the lack of home wins in the Bundesliga.  Apparently you had to go back to January to find a week where home wins were the dominant result, but even then the sample size is still really small. 

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If City lose to Arsenal (I know, I know) in their first game back, Liverpool could potentially seal the title in the Merseyside derby a few days later.

 

I’d like to think fans would be sensible and stay away in that scenario... but then I remember photos of swarms of people packed onto shite beaches last Bank Holiday and wonder about the potential clusterfuck.

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I'd imagine the Merseyside derby would have to be played on a neutral ground if that were the case.  Ideally somewhere like St Georges Park or some other venue which is genuinely behind closed doors as Liverpool have hordes of fans in every town or city with a decent stadium.  

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The Athletic's info from inside the Prem meeting yesterday - so relegation happening by the looks of it, neutral grounds maybe on a selected basis.

 

I think the biggest risk of a crowd gathering is Liverpool, a decent size local fanbase and the first title in years.

 

Spoiler

The Premier League has announced that top-flight football is set to return on Wednesday, June 17 — if all safety requirements are met.

Here, The Athletic explains how the clubs finally reached this point and what comes next…

What happened in Thursday’s meeting?
It was long, intense and very detailed, according to sources, with some executives told to set aside up to eight hours as dates for returning to play were properly discussed among Premier League clubs for the first time.

After a return to contact training (“Phase Two”) was approved on Wednesdayand began on Thursday, the Premier League argued two weeks would be enough time to resume competitive matches.

The clubs, ideally, wanted four weeks — effectively a mini pre-season — so a compromise of three weeks was agreed. As The Athletic revealed, some clubs are already trying to organise friendlies to get their players match-ready.

When will matches take place?
Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal — which were postponed due to the Carabao Cup final — will kick things off on Wednesday June 17, followed by a full round of matches beginning on Friday, June 19.

The Premier League wants to complete the season by the end of July, leaving August for the FA Cup final and remaining European matches. So that’s 92 matches in a little over six weeks. Game on.

There will be slots for games on Monday and Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 12noon, 2pm, 4.30pm and 7pm. Midweek matches — Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday — will kick off at 6pm and 8pm (all times BST).

These slots will not all necessarily be filled, and there may not be matches every single day, every week. Teams are set to play each other in the order scheduled before the competition was suspended.

So, how do I watch them then?
The bad news is that all 92 matches will take place behind closed doors, the good news is that they will all be shown live on television in the UK — and at least 29 of them will be free to watch on Sky Sports (25) and the BBC (four). In America, NBC holds the rights to all the matches.

In all, Sky Sports will show 64 games, BT Sport 20, BBC 4 and Amazon Prime 4. Sky Sports, which paid £3.579 billion for 128 matches a season from 2019-22, had 34 live games left in this campaign, and was given 25 more, which it has said it will put on its free-to-air channel and simulcast on Sky Sports.

BT Sport, which paid out £975 million for its 52 live games, had eight left and has been given a further 12. As a “gesture of goodwill” it will offer customers 50 per cent off their BT Sport monthly subscription.

Amazon made its Premier League debut over the festive period, showing two rounds of matches in mid-December and on Boxing Day, and gets another four games.

The BBC — which already shares live radio rights and the Premier League highlights package via Match of the Day — was given four matches, too.

So it has taken a global pandemic to get Premier League football on the BBC then?
Well, quite. It took all of about five minutes for the BBC to trumpet its four live Premier League matches — as well as a “bumper crop of Match of the Day highlight programmes” — but you have to go back to 1988 for the last time top-flight action was shown on the BBC.

“This opportunity creates an historic moment for the BBC and our audiences,” said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport. “We are delighted and excited to have the chance to show live Premier League games on the BBC. This will offer audiences, who haven’t had the opportunity in the past, live, free to air access to the best football league in the world.”

She’s not wrong about the BBC having “the chance” to show them, by the way — it is understood that the BBC has not paid for these extra games.

So how has this happened?
No broadcasters asked for more games and they certainly haven’t paid for them, writes Matt Slater, but the Premier League clearly values its broadcast partners and was also very mindful of the government’s desire for these games to have the widest possible audience without compromising their value. So the BBC has been given some games to put on free-to-air television but the other partners can decide what they want to do with their allotted matches.

Sky Sports still very much holds the cards here in terms of getting the first pick of the best games and while, as explained, it will show a selection of games for free, it is entitled to keep those behind the paywall if it chooses to help pay back loyal advertisers. Features to try and improve the spectacle of matches played behind closed doors — such as artificial crowd noise — were discussed too, with input from the Bundesliga. But, for all the talk of “good relationships”, the broadcasters still want to claw back some of the £4.5 billion they shelled out to show the Premier League in the UK from 2019-2022…

Ah yes, the £330 million broadcast rebate. What’s happening?
The £330 million clubs should give back to the broadcasters was agreed in principle but discussions are ongoing as to whether that money is paid back over the next two seasons, or the bigger clubs pay a larger percentage of it. This was a very lively point of debate on Thursday, with clubs’ hopes of reducing the sum to about£170 million seemingly dashed. As the clubs’ 2018-19 accounts showed, TV revenue is responsible for as much as 88 per cent of one Premier League club’s income. 

Where will the matches be played?
The Premier League has proposed using a “hybrid model” whereby many fixtures would be played at home grounds but “high-risk” clashes — such as derbies, for instance, Everton v Liverpool at which the title could be won — would take place at neutral venues due to a perceived fear that supporters would gather around the venues in contravention of social-distancing guidelines. These neutral venues are likely to be stadiums that are not in densely-populated residential areas.

Will Liverpool be able to play at Anfield then?
No decision has been taken yet over whether Liverpool will play their remaining four home league games at Anfield, writes James Pearce. Discussions are ongoing regarding whether Jurgen Klopp’s side should play their home matches at neutral venues but the club want to play at Anfield and senior officials are confident that fans would listen to pleas to stay away. Klopp and the players would help to get that message across, too.

It is also worth remembering that Liverpool have fans all over the country so even moving a game to a neutral venue would not entirely remove fears that supporters may gather there. This is ultimately a decision for the police and the Safety Advisory Group.

What about those clubs who advocated scrapping this year’s competition and avoiding relegation?
On Thursday, some clubs towards the wrong end of the table are understood to have made it “very, very difficult, raising various motions on what should and should not be done.” At the heart of it was scrapping relegation but this was “absolutely blown out of the water” by other clubs, some of whom felt the arguments came across as “complete desperation”.

Some sides were particularly concerned about the threat of relegation if the league starts and stops again and they find themselves in a worse position than the current table owing to “imbalanced” fixtures. There was no decision on how the season would be decided if the season were to be curtailed, though a majority are understood to be in favour of settling it by an unweighted points per game table (below).

This will be discussed in greater detail at the next meeting of Premier League shareholders on June 4.

As one coach told The Athletic: “Will we face teams who don’t care? Will we face teams with unfit players? Will we face teams with under-23s or kids? If you are one of the bottom six, is it right to expect us to risk the future of a club in such an uncertain situation? You cannot underestimate the impact relegation will have.

“I don’t understand how they can even consider relegating teams in a pandemic. It’s a big disaster. There are formulas they can use. It could be a bigger competition with more games, which means more money for broadcasting. Maybe you get rid of the Carabao Cup. It’s not the end of the world. Why are these things not being considered?”

What was the stance of the Big Six?
It was a very clear message: we’ve got to get this back on; it’s all about the integrity of the game so we need to play and complete what we signed up for at the start of the season — albeit in a slightly different form.

The mid-ranking clubs, generally, are minded to agree with the top-six sides rather than aligning themselves with the relegation-threatened clubs. The fear among those clubs caught in the middle is that, should the bottom six dictate policy, the top six will start doing their own thing more and more — and the clubs in the middle will suffer financially.

So, the Bundesliga is back and the Premier League has set a prospective date. What about Italy and Spain?
There was big news out of Italy on Thursday evening too, as James Horncastle reports. The government approved a plan for Serie A to resume on June 20. The second legs of the Coppa Italia semi-finals will take place from June 13.

In case of another interruption, Serie A has agreed two contingency plans. The first involves play-offs and relegation play-outs. The second is to freeze the table as it stands. As such, the intention is to complete outstanding games from matchday 25 first so everyone has played the same number of games and go from there.

In Spain, there was a meeting of the 42 clubs on Thursday and they are still planning towards a start date of June 11. Fixtures are likely to be announced on Sunday.

 

What happens now?
The next Premier League meeting on Thursday June 4 will continue to look at curtailment scenarios and the timing of the transfer window, for example. There was no discussion this week about issues such as teams being quarantined in hotels or next season’s start date. One step at a time…

 

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9 hours ago, Naysonymous said:

I'd imagine the Merseyside derby would have to be played on a neutral ground if that were the case.  Ideally somewhere like St Georges Park or some other venue which is genuinely behind closed doors as Liverpool have hordes of fans in every town or city with a decent stadium.  


Apparently that’s now one of the games being recommended for a neutral venue by the police, along with:

 

Man City v Liverpool

Man City v Newcastle

Man Utd v Sheff Utd

Newcastle v Liverpool

 

Not sure why the Uniteds of Manchester and Sheffield could be contentious, but guess Newcastle feature due to potential Saudi-takeover protests.

 

However this plays out is going to be surreal.

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you can see the Liverpool flare up point coming miles off when the title is on the line and crowds of bevvied up blokes congregate hurling abuse at the police in that legendary scouse wit comedic way, whilst being interviewed on camera saying crowds shouldn't be allowed to gather like this and it's all been handled wrongly by the authorities. 

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5 hours ago, Gotters said:

you can see the Liverpool flare up point coming miles off when the title is on the line and crowds of bevvied up blokes congregate hurling abuse at the police in that legendary scouse wit comedic way, whilst being interviewed on camera saying crowds shouldn't be allowed to gather like this and it's all been handled wrongly by the authorities. 

 

:unsure:

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Surprisingly they’ve announced they are finishing the FA Cup.

 

Probably helps that all the 8 remaining teams are Premier League, but cramming more games in while trying to finish the league seems a bit nuts and an FA Cup final behind closed doors seems like the most miserable thing ever especially if either finalists aren’t Arsenal, Chelsea or the Manchester Clubs.

 

Imagine Sheff Utd winning it with no-one there.

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