Premier League: The 2020/21 season has been simulated with 22 teams

  • Kobe Tong

The future of the Premier League has been cast in doubt amid the coronavirus pandemic.

England’s leading sports competition has banned all fixtures until April 4, although it seems unlikely that games will resume so quickly with Boris Johnson advising against all mass gatherings.

Rather, it seems as though the domestic season will bleed into the summer with UEFA expected to postpone Euro 2020 during a scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

Such is the unprecedented nature of the situation that nobody is certain on the Premier League‘s expected course of action, leading to speculation about a number of potential solutions.

Much to the horror of Liverpool fans, it’s been touted that the season could be rendered null and void, while there’s also speculation that the remaining games might be played behind closed doors.

Potential Premier League solutions

But one of the most interesting suggestions is drawing a line under the current campaign, while still giving Liverpool the title and allowing the Championship’s top two to benefit from promotion.

It’s by no means a perfect solution, don’t get us wrong, but it would see the Premier League resume with 22 teams and four relegation places in order to equalise the format afterwards.

But how would that work out? Well, the team at Squawka have decided to tackle that question by building a Football Manager 2020 simulation for the 2020/21 season with two extra clubs.

The format

Norwich City, Aston Villa and Bournemouth all hold on to their top flight status, despite being in the bottom three, with West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United getting airlifted from the autonomic promotion places.

That means each team would play four extra games and Jurgen Klopp would likely go into meltdown at the thought of contesting 42 league fixtures in a season.

The simulation

There was cause for celebration at Carrow Road, Villa Park and the Vitality Stadium as getting a second chance at dodging relegation proved to be a successful foray, dodging the four trapdoors down to the Championship.

And the same can be said for Leeds and West Brom, who dodged the drop in 17th and 15th places respectively, likely to the dismay of teams who finished 2019/20 in the play-off spots.

Sheffield United shockingly wound up rock bottom despite their contemporary European challenge, while the trio of Southampton, Crystal Palace and West Ham United joined them in the burgeoned relegation zone.  

The quartet would then be replaced by Huddersfield Town and Swansea City.

No offence to Arsenal fans, but we don’t really believe the simulation in giving them the Premier League title as Liverpool spectacularly fail to defend the crown in fourth place.

They were joined in the Champions League group stages by Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City, while Chelsea and Manchester United were forced to settle for the Europa League.

Check out the full table down below:

One of the best solutions

Having no relegations, two promotions and 22 teams would be absolutely mental.

And if we ignore the fact Arsenal have somehow won the virtual title, just imagine the controversy if Norwich dodged relegation because they had a second shot and Leeds were fast-tracked to a premature promotion.

The more you think about, the more unfeasible and messy it seems, but the scary thing is that doing so actually seems one of the most sensible suggestions in this worrying and changeable crisis.

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