Ron Springett In The Net - Sheffield Wednesday

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P_O_T_R

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#106 29/03/2020 at 21:40

It would only be "fair" to award Liverpool the Premier League title if the season is not completed because of coronavirus, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says.

With football in England suspended until at least 30 April, Liverpool have a 25-point lead over defending champions City and are two wins from a first top-flight title in 30 years.

Asked if the Reds should be given the trophy if the season is cut short, Gudogan told German broadcaster ZDF: "For me, that would be OK, yes."

"You have to be fair as a sportsperson," the 29-year-old Germany international added.

Premier League clubs are due to meet on 3 April, when it is almost certain the current postponement until the end of April will be extended again. That will take it past the official end of the EFL league season and towards the last round of Premier League fixtures, which was supposed to be on 17 May.

Aleksander Ceferin, president of European football's governing body Uefa, said on Saturday the current football season could be lost if it cannot be restarted by the end of June.

Gundogan acknowledged football authorities faced a difficult decision because of the impact that cancellation of the season would have at both ends of the Premier League table.

"There are different opinions. For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn't be nice if it was cancelled now," he said.

"On the other hand, for clubs who aren't doing as well and are maybe in the relegation places, an abandonment would obviously suit them."

Gundogan added that he would be prepared to take a pay cut if English clubs went down the route of Juventus and Borussia Dortmund in asking players to accept reduced wages so that other staff can be paid.

"Of course I think it's OK, that goes without saying, [but] there's been no discussion in England yet," he said.

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P_O_T_R

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#107 30/03/2020 at 14:33

There is a growing understanding among Scottish football clubs that finishing the season is becoming increasingly unlikely due to the spread of Covid-19.

Each SPFL side has at least eight games outstanding and the governing bodies are taking legal advice about the best way to conclude the current campaign.

The English Premier League are reportedly exploring a televised, behind-closed-doors event this summer.

However, that is considered fanciful by senior figures in Scotland.

Instead, they are minded to protect next season with as little disruption as possible given new broadcast deals are due to begin.

Clarity could come following more league meetings later this week, but there is now a desire for as little delay as possible.

Individually, clubs are continuing to explore cost-cutting measures, with many already applying for the government job retention scheme.

That would see 80% of players and staff wages being covered up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, but would also leave clubs unable to issue players with training schedules and dietary plans.

The Scottish FA are continuing to look at sources of income in a bid to potentially provide members with short-term loans.

Their focus, for now, is understood to centred around safeguarding the future of clubs.

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P_O_T_R

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#108 30/03/2020 at 18:02

Sixty-six non-league clubs have sent an open letter to the Football Association, calling for it to "urgently" reconsider the decision to expunge their seasons.

Some MPs have also told clubs they will write to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport asking for intervention in what one described as a "disappointing" decision.

It was announced last week that football in England below the National League's three divisions would end immediately with results expunged.

It means there will be no promotion or relegation in these 91 leagues. The same applies in the women's game below the Women's Super League and Championship level.

The decision is yet to be ratified by the FA Council.

Sport has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, with fixtures suspended earlier this month.

The letter says: "Our concern is grounded primarily in the needless and inexplicable haste exercised in reaching the decision, coupled with a total lack of substantive dialogue or consultation with affected clubs.

"The decision also disregards the millions of pounds invested and countless hours expended collectively by clubs, and so has critical financial implications.

"In writing this joint letter, we recognise that the decision to expunge results for the 2019-20 season still pends official ratification from the FA Council.

"However, we believe it is unacceptable that such a decision has been handed down to us in this manner. We urgently seek constructive dialogue with the FA with the aim to have the decision reconsidered."

BBC Sport has seen communication between clubs and their local MPs demonstrating that they have written, or will be writing, to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on this issue.

The letter says that if there is no consensus reached with the clubs, they will "embark on potential legal recourse".

In a statement, the FA said: "The decision taken to end the 2019-20 season across steps 3-7 of the National League system, the women's football pyramid and the wider grassroots game was made by committee representatives for the respective leagues, and was supported by the FA Board and the FA Women's Board.

"It will now go to the FA Council for ratification. We fully support the decision they came to during these challenging and unprecedented circumstances for English football."

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P_O_T_R

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#109 30/03/2020 at 18:49

Barrow could be voted back into the English Football League if the season is not finished, 48 years after they were removed, says director Levi Gill.

Barrow are four points clear at the top of the National League and pursuing a return to the EFL, having failed to win re-election to Division Four in 1972.

But the National League has asked the Football Association to close the rest of the campaign because of coronavirus.

"We would first need to be recognised as champions," Gill told BBC Sport.

He says that decision will fall to the National League and could be decided either by taking the current standings or deciding them on a points-per-game basis, if their remaining nine fixtures cannot be completed.

League One side Bury were expelled from the EFL earlier this season, meaning there is currently a vacant spot in the structure - something that could favour Barrow's bid for promotion.

"If the National League recognises us as the champions of the division then I would say the normal process would kick in, and it's up to the EFL to accept us," added Gill, who says the Cumbrian outfit have already proved they can comply with EFL regulations.

"In principle, we have been accepted - they have looked at the business, looked at the ground, what we want to do, and that's all been approved."

Bluebirds boss Ian Evatt also says "it will probably end up a vote on whether we go back into the league or not" - but Gill is happy to take a place in League Two however it comes.

"It is a shame for the fans," added Gill, who says the club have been praised by rival supporters for their football this season, and even dubbed 'Barrowcelona'.

"To have got promoted after 48 years on the pitch would have been amazing. It would be nice to do it properly, but to do it at all is amazing."

Barrow lost their Football League place in 1972, despite finishing third bottom of what was then known as Division Four, when the bottom four clubs were required to submit to re-election.

That process continued until 1986 when automatic relegation to the National League - formed in 1979 as the Alliance Premier League, and subsequently the Football Conference - was introduced.

But in 1972, Barrow were voted out, with Hereford United - who had finished second in the Southern League - taking their place.

"Hereford had just knocked Newcastle out of the FA Cup, it was on television, the famous goal from Ronnie Radford, so they were a big deal," explained Gill.

"We had finished third bottom and they hadn't even finished top of their league.

"There's still that sense of injustice at being voted out."

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holmesfield_owl

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#110 30/03/2020 at 19:09

What happens to Bury out of interest if the seasons never counted, could they claim their place back? 

2019/20, the promotion party starts now!!!! 

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CDLF

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Sheffield Wednesday
#111 30/03/2020 at 19:54

What happens to Bury out of interest if the seasons never counted, could they claim their place back?
holmesfield_owl, 30/03/2020 at 19:09

My thoughts exactly. 

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Otto_Man

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#112 30/03/2020 at 19:59

What happens to Bury out of interest if the seasons never counted, could they claim their place back?
holmesfield_owl, 30/03/2020 at 19:09

EFL will make the rules up as they always do, Bury won't be re-admitted and Bolton will be expected to start with the same deduction. 

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sheffieldblue

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Sheffield Wednesday
#113 30/03/2020 at 20:16

Deserve promotion for the nickname Barrowcelona! 

Givens. Stein. Hopkins .Elliott .Unsworth.. Heroes, one and all. Add Simonsen to the growing list 

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P_O_T_R

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4079 posts

#114 30/03/2020 at 20:18

Hope we avoid them in the cup! 

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EastCraigsOwl

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#115 30/03/2020 at 20:33

Is their pitch long and narrow? 

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EastCraigsOwl

First used 23/02/13
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#116 30/03/2020 at 20:35

And, of course, if I knew anything about Irish songs, I would know the correct words are "broad and narrow" ffs Unhappy

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Skamp

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Sheffield Wednesday
#117 30/03/2020 at 20:38

Be even better if you knew anything about the edit button Wink

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Otto_Man

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#118 31/03/2020 at 01:39

Did we sign Grant Holt from Barrow or have I made that up? 

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Tank_Owl

First used 09/08/15
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Sheffield Wednesday
#119 31/03/2020 at 08:19

The more I listen to the comments made by the Government and the deputy chief medical officer the more I'm convinced we'll be lucky to see the back of this by June, which I'm hoping for various reasons means the season will be cancelled. The only relevance will be positions and leagues for next seasons various cups and European competitions.

The playing behind close doors after June, say it was possible to organise it in July onwards would be dependent on clubs being able to choose from a fully fit squad wouldn't it, with no concern that they couldn't pass onC-19. That sounds like the rest of society would need to be in the state, which makes the whole idea of playing behind closed doors nonsense- to me anyway. You also have the issue of players wages and contracts etc. We are particularly impacted by that but I'm guessing we won't be alone. Even if you had 4 or 5 first team players out of contract and with no intention or re signing them how likely is the player going to be to show any goodwill.

Just stop dithering and cancel it then clubs can focus on the important things and maybe do a bit of planning for what might be next season. 

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Andyben

First used 07/08/09
12057 posts

Sheffield Wednesday
#120 31/03/2020 at 08:59

ITV are showing Euro 96 in full this summer.

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