The Only Way Liverpool Can Never Walk Alone

Arguing that Liverpool should receive the Premier League title.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Andrea Huang

The 2019-2020 Premier League season has been one of the most fascinating ones to date. This season has ushered in a new era of clubs, including Wolverhampton and Sheffield United, which are adding to the list of teams that can compete at the highest level. The hierarchy has changed with mid-tier clubs such as Burnley and Crystal Palace having several stints in the top seven and top-tier clubs such as Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur outside of the top five. Most impressive, though, is Liverpool’s rapid ascension to the top of the Premier League table. However, due to coronavirus concerns, we are unable to see how the season will finish, with only 24 percent of the season left to play. But despite that, throughout the near 30-game season, the 20 Premier League teams have shown millions their level of play at their best and their worst. It is only right that the best in the league clinches the title. As a result, Liverpool's continuous dominance over the span of many months and large lead over its competition should be enough justification to award them the title.

There are a few objections to giving Liverpool the title: Manchester City still has a chance to claim first place, some teams have played one less game than others (so the final standings are not solidified), and this was a shortened and inconclusive season.

The first argument is undoubtedly the strongest. Manchester City has a chance, albeit a small one, to pull off a series of victories that would propel them to the top of the Premier League. However, it is important to mention that we can speculate about the outcome. The Premier League clubs have had more than enough time to compete amongst one another, and have had months to develop their best starting 11 and substitutes. Essentially, 29 games are enough to determine which team should be crowned champion from the current standings. Liverpool has been dominating its opponents since the beginning of this season and thus deserves the title. Giving the championship to a team during a shortened season is not a new concept. European soccer leagues, including the Belgian First Division A, have already awarded the title to its best team. Though many leagues, including Serie A and La Liga, hope to continue playing in the summer, with the current coronavirus crisis far from over, an early violation of social distancing laws will spark a resurgence that would put its clubs into financial difficulties yet again.

From this debacle over championship rights arises another issue: relegation. If Liverpool doesn’t earn the title, should the bottom three teams be relegated? If relegation doesn’t take place, will the top two teams in the English Championship not be promoted as they rightfully should be? The third team to be promoted, which is determined from a playoff series between teams ranked third through sixth, does not need to be considered, as it would be impossible to determine who would advance because they will be unable to play their games due to coronavirus concerns—just like every other team in Europe.

Fortunately, there are a multitude of answers to this question. The Premier League can do anything to resolve this dilemma. Their first option would be to award Liverpool the title and not have relegation, let the top two teams of the Championship advance, and relegate five teams next season. This would increase the level of competition in the Premier League and would generate more profit for the clubs, thus solving—or at the very least limiting—the loss of their profits from this season. A second is Aston Villa (25 points), which has played one fewer game than the teams in 17th and 18th place (both which have 27 points). Therefore, the league can determine the result of the 29th game through a random number generator. Before every EPL match, analysts make predictions of the outcome, which are represented as percentages. The league could determine Aston Villa’s chances of winning, drawing, or losing to their next opponent and use a random number generator to determine the result. For example, consider a scenario in which Aston Villa has a 15 percent chance to win and a 20 percent chance to draw. If a number from one through 15 is generated, award Aston Villa with the win. If a number from 16 to 36 is drawn, give them the draw, and so forth. Opponents of this idea would argue that statistics don’t always accurately represent the outcome. In that case, the league can leave it up to chance: flip a coin. If it is heads, Aston Villa wins. If it is tails, Aston Villa loses. If Aston Villa supporters are unsatisfied with the decision, then perhaps their club should have played better to not be in the relegation zone in the first place. As I previously stated, 29 games is enough to determine the final result of the 2019-2020 season, especially one in which Liverpool has a 25 point lead.

If the Premier League were to freeze the standings, that would automatically allow the top four teams to enter the UEFA Champions League next year, while the team that comes in fifth would enter the Europa League. However, UEFA is unsupportive of freezing the standings, and claims that the clubs of whatever league does so would risk not playing in the European competition next year. However, this should not be a concern for the clubs that qualify, and I support not having international competition next year. This would free up months for clubs and ease scheduling, giving each European League more time to play more games as compensation for the shortened season. The idea of playing out the remainder of the games in the summer without fans would do nothing to resolve the financial situation of smaller clubs, and would do nothing to change the amount of time they are reliant on financial support from UEFA and to a larger extent—FIFA. The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed the football season, but in the hearts of club supporters, it has not been forgotten, and let it never be forgotten. Every season ends with a champion, and with the current crisis, it is unreasonable to consider that the leagues will hastily finish their seasons. With all said, it is time for Liverpool to have its rightful place in history as 2019-2020 Premier League champion.