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Monday, January 18, 2021

Chelsea: Six thoughts on cancelling or continuing the league

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MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 27: The Chelsea club crest on a first team home shirt on April 27, 2020 in Manchester, England (Photo by Visionhaus)

The Premier League is attempting to return but still faces Covid-19 cases. Should Chelsea see the league be cancelled or continue?

When this article was initially floated, six players or staff had tested positive for Covid-19. Almost immediately, another two tested positive. With the Premier League having only been back in training for a week, eight is not a good look for the resumption of play.

So we asked our contributors and editors what they thought. Should the league resume? Should it be cancelled? Or maybe some third option? Pride of London weighs in.

Kevin Peacock: Cancel and void

Across the land, the appetite for Project Restart is dwindling. Of course, your individual opinion depends upon your particular footballing allegiance. The real discussion around the possibility of Premier League football restarting should center on those at the bottom of the league rather than those at the top.

With football’s collective media hoping to finally bestow upon their beloved Liverpool FC an inaugural Premier League title, the clamor for a restart date is high on the agenda. If we are honest, the title belongs to the Reds. They are streets ahead of anyone else and were always going to get it.

It is not so clear cut down at the bottom though. There is plenty of football still to be decided in the lower reaches. We have already seen games played without the input of supporters in Germany and it is a pallid, insipid representation of the game we all love.

The next question lies in the players’ desire to get going again. Already, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante has taken the option of training alone at home rather than with the collective at Cobham. He is not alone. Other players at other clubs feel it is too soon to be worrying about the beautiful game. Should these players not be available when the season restarts then the credibility of any titles or relegations will be tarnished.

Social distancing measures go out of the window on a football field. The players can jostle each other at close quarters, puffing and panting potential toxic bodily fluids around whilst the substitutes sit calmly two meters apart wearing face masks for protection. It is no wonder players are raising concerns. It appears the game, across the world, is simply paying lip service to the pandemic.

Then of course, there are those players or staff at clubs who have tested positive for Covid-19. As it stands that is eight people self-isolating, whether they had contact with anyone else we do not know. However it adds into the mix more doubt and validity over the results of any games played.

Everyone who follows football misses it desperately, but there is much more to life than 22 people kicking a ball around a field. There are more reasons to not start than there are to get the league going again. Of course, the desire to tidy things up is driven by money but good health trumps that. We have seen too many deaths as a result of this awful virus without risking more.

Finishing the 2019-20 season will undoubtedly affect the next. It seems unlikely that games for the remainder of the year will have any supporters in the ground but as the virus diminishes the players safety can at least be better assured.

Project No-Go as I prefer to call it, has to see the season voided. We are constantly being told we live in unprecedented times and there is no denying that. Not only are lives at stake but to finish the league now, with all the restrictions in place to allow that to happen, simply undermines the game of football we all love and it is just not worth it.

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