Coronavirus pandemic: Former English FA chairman Greg Dyke says Premier League cancellation would be 'nonsensical'

The Premier League has been suspended until at least 4 April, following an emergency meeting sparked by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta testing positive for the coronavirus last week

Reuters March 16, 2020 14:22:04 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: Former English FA chairman Greg Dyke says Premier League cancellation would be 'nonsensical'

Former English Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Dyke said it would be nonsensical for the Premier League to abandon the current season and scratch the rankings, arguing it would lead to huge financial losses.

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File photo Liverpool. AP

The Premier League has been suspended until at least 4 April, following an emergency meeting sparked by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta testing positive for the coronavirus last week.

Premier League chiefs and clubs will meet to discuss the options this week. Current FA boss Greg Clarke told The Times newspaper on the weekend that he did not think the season would be completed.

Dyke said scrapping the season would prove costly for the FA, thanks to unpaid broadcast fees and lawsuits from clubs, and said the Premier League could take advantage of the likely cancellation of Euro 2020 to play into August.

"You might have to play behind closed doors to fulfil the contracts for the broadcasters, otherwise they're not going to pay up and that could mean hundreds of millions of pounds. You may even have to play three matches a week to get them done," Dyke told The Times. 

“I can see if you are a Norwich fan or of a team like West Ham, you might be delighted if the season was cancelled. At a club like Leeds (top of the second tier), fans would go nuts. You can also imagine clubs taking legal action.”

Liverpool require two wins to secure their first English top-flight title in 30 years and former boss Kenny Dalglish said it would be a travesty if the season is cancelled.

“That wouldn’t be fair and any person with football at heart would admit that would be totally out of order,” Dalglish wrote in his column for The Sunday Post newspaper.

Karren Brady, the vice-chairman of relegation-threatened West Ham United, said on Saturday those who hoped that the Premier League would resume next month were in “dreamland” and the season could be cancelled.

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