Liverpool: Return to games would be good for UK

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The chairman of Liverpool, American businessman Tom Werner, has been discussing the possible return of the 2019-20 Premier League season as the Reds are runaways leaders and on the cusp of their first league title in over 30 years.

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Liverpool sat 25 points clear atop the table and needed five more points to clinch the title before the season was suspended on Mar. 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier League clubs have yet to vote on restarting the current season and there has been plenty of debate about safety issues in the UK, as it has the second-highest COVID-19 death toll in the world.

Werner told The Associated Press that he hopes games return soon because “it would be good for the country” to have live action to focus on.

“There’s a hole in so many people’s lives,” Werner said. “Football is central to their dreams and their hopes. And certainly, as regards Liverpool, we are playing magnificent football and we are just a couple of matches away from winning the trophy. But I do put it in perspective.”

Safety is the main issue for Werner — who has been chairman of Liverpool for 10 years — as Premier League clubs will vote on key issues surrounding ‘Project Restart’ next week.

“The more important thing is if we can figure out a way to get these matches played because I think it would be good for the country,” Werner said. “The most important thing is safety. I do think the protocols that the Premier League are working on as somebody said its probably safer to play behind closed doors than to go to a supermarket… It’s a terrible situation we’re all in. Someday, hopefully, there will be a vaccine and we can return to the joy of being in a stadium and watching the elegant play of great football players.”

Whatever happens, it seems like Liverpool will win the title as ‘null and void’ (or the season being canceled) is not seen as a viable option and if games cannot restart for the 2019-20 season, a points-per-game model is likely to be used to decide the final table. Werner added that he is looking forward to a huge trophy parade in Liverpool as and when people can congregate together again.

Next week is a key week for the Premier League ‘Project Restart’ plan as clubs are due to meet on Tuesday (May 26) to discuss a return to full contact training, then again on Thursday (May 28) to vote on whether or not to restart the season.

Phase One of the return to training protocol is now well under way and that means players and staff have to strictly adhere to social-distancing rules inside and outside of the training grounds. If they don’t, then the entire ‘Project Restart’ plan will fall down as more positive tests will be found and individuals will be forced to self-isolate for seven days at a time.