There is no ideal solution to finishing the Premier League season.
‘Project Restart’ is already proving controversial, with many players and fans opposed to continuing the campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.
So should 2019/20 be scrapped altogether? Some think it must.
France, Belgium and the Netherlands have all confirmed that their respective top flights will not be resuming. They’ve all gone about it in different ways.
In Ligue 1, PSG have been declared champions by working out the final table using data based on points from the season so far.
Ajax, on the other hand, will NOT be champions and nobody will be relegated or promoted from the Eredivisie. Club Brugge were already too far ahead to be caught, but there will be no playoffs in Belgium.
But what about the Premier League? Liverpool were 25 points ahead when fixtures ground to a halt.
Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth were in the relegation zone, while there is also European qualification to be considered. Leeds and West Brom, likewise, expect to be promoted.
Ultimately, whatever is decided is going to be unfair on somebody. However, the Daily Mail and Opta stats have re-created the mathematical model used in L’Equipe to work out the ‘fairest’ way of deciding the table.
If no more games were played this term, the system could be used – in theory, anyway – to work out how the final table would have looked.
How it works
The method uses the data from the games so far. It takes into account that playing a club twice can lead to two different outcomes, so points against clubs a team has played twice are halved. If you’ve only played an opponent once, the result stands.
Two wins v same opponent: 3 points
One win, one draw v same opponent: 2 points
One win, one loss v same opponent: 1.5 points
Two draws v same opponent: 1 point
One draw, one loss v same opponent: 0.5 points
Two defeats v same opponent: 0 points
The final table
1. Liverpool – 109 (+90GD)
2. Manchester City – 79 (+74GD)
3. Leicester – 77 (+60GD)
4. Chelsea – 64 (+24GD)
5. Manchester United – 57 (+28GD)
6. Wolves – 56 (+14GD)
7. Sheffield United – 56 (+10GD)
8. Tottenham – 53 (+14GD)
9. Crystal Palace – 52 (-12GD)
10. Burnley – 50 (-12GD)
11. Newcastle – 50 (-32GD)
12. Arsenal – 48 (+8GD)
13. Southampton – 48 (-34GD)
14. Everton – 44 (-18GD)
15. West Ham – 40 (-30GD)
16. Brighton – 37 (-16GD)
17. Bournemouth – 36 (-36GD)
18. Aston Villa – 33 (-44GD)
19. Watford – 32 (-34GD)
20. Norwich – 28 (-54GD)
Liverpool are champions – obviously. Jurgen Klopp’s man would smash the records set by Manchester City’s centurions.
Manchester City, Leicester and Chelsea would make up the top four. That seems a fair depiction of the season so far, with Manchester United not having done enough in the first half of the season to warrant a Champions League place. They would make the Europa League, alongside Wolves.
Tottenham would not make it into Europe at all. But again, is there any real injustice there?
The fact Arsenal are as low as 12th would be harsh on Mikel Arteta, who would arguably be punished for the inadequacies of Unai Emery’s reign. That middle ground of the table is at least not going to determine serious matters.
Down the bottom, it’s a different story. Bournemouth would stay up, despite currently being in the bottom three. Watford would essentially go down because of their form pre-Nigel Pearson.
So maybe it’s not all that fair after all. It’s a good job this alternative table is only a bit of speculation – but these are the kind of big questions they’ll be discussing at Premier League headquarters.
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