Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has reiterated that he wants the 2019/20 Premier League season to conclude.
The campaign is currently indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 20 top flight clubs are meeting today to discuss the plans for the unfinished term.
BBC Sport reports that a June 30 deadline could be placed on the season – which is gathering increased support among the clubs.
They are worried about the legal ramifications of going beyond that date. Firstly, many players will be out of contract at the end of June. Fifa have put forward the idea of rolling extensions, but players are under no legal obligation to sign them. That means some sides could be left with depleted squads.
Some teams are also due to change kit manufacturers before the start of the next campaign; including Liverpool, Newcastle United and Watford.
Apparently 2020/21 is considered more important than the current term. But Wilder does not support the idea of ending it early.
“I think for the integrity of the competition and competitions, especially the top end of English football and European football, they’ll want to finish the season,” the Blades boss told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“I believe that there will be an ability next year to adjust, with international breaks, with moving a few games into midweek. We have that ability through organisation and planning to finish this season off.”
Should Wilder and Sheffield United actually back ending it early?
If it is voted that the season cannot extend past June 30 and therefore has to be cut short, the final league table will have to be decided another way.
The Times reports that there are three options – all of which appear to greatly benefit the Blades.
The first option is to base things on a points-per-game basis. This involves dividing the number of points a team has by the amount of matches they have played so far. In this scenario, Wilder’s side would qualify for the Europa League.
This would also be the case with option two. That is to use the table as it was after 19 games and every club had played each other once; when the Blades were seventh.
Sides such as Watford would probably be less happy with that decision, having seen their form greatly improve since the halfway point.
Finally, the result of each remaining fixture will be determined based on home and away form. For each game, the home side’s form is compared with the away side’s form to decide the probable result.
This would see the Blades not only get into Europe, but actually qualify for the Champions League.
Wilder has integrity and wants the campaign to finish properly. However, ending it early may not be such a bad thing for the club.