Coronavirus: Write off future season to finish 2019/20, says John Barnes

Barnes: "You can't just give Liverpool the title because we are so far ahead."

Image: Liverpool should not be arbitrarily handed the title and the Premier League season must be completed, according to John Barnes

John Barnes feels there should be an option to write off a future domestic football season to ensure that the 2019/20 campaign is completed.

The former Liverpool and England international has joined the chorus of people saying there must be a conclusion to the current incomplete season for the integrity of the leagues, from the Premier League right the way down the pyramid.

Liverpool lead the Premier League table by 25 points with nine games remaining - closest rivals Manchester City have 10 to play - while there are similar amounts of games left to play in the EFL and National League, both of whom have the additional complication of end-of-season play-offs.

UEFA has already postponed Euro 2020, due to be played in a dozen cities across Europe, for 12 months in order to give European leagues - many of which are suspended - to be completed, a call Barnes has backed.

"It's a sensible decision and I think delaying for a year was the only solution," Barnes told Sky Sports News.

A general view of a locked gate at Anfield 0:48
Former Liverpool and England midfielder John Barnes says this season must be finished if Liverpool are to be crowned Premier League champions.

"You have leagues to be finished and I think leagues have to be finished, not just from Liverpool's point of view or any other club in any country.

"It's obviously bigger than that, you are talking about promotion and relegation all the way down the divisions. So I think if the leagues can even be delayed - you don't have to rush back to them - maybe you have to write off a season.

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"We don't know what's going to happen on April 3 [when the EFL suspension is currently due to end] and maybe they are going to delay it further.

"Even if we have to start in July or August, what we have to do is finish these games even if it takes up until December, which writes off the [next] season.

"These are desperate times and this is an unusual circumstance."

Former Everton forward Kevin Campbell says Liverpool will want to win the Premier League title based on a full season rather than a reduced one due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Barnes also believes there are far too many difficulties in arbitrarily handing out titles, promotions and relegations with so many games unfulfilled.

He added: "If you are going to give Liverpool the title, then who would get promoted and relegated? You can't just give Liverpool the title because we are so far ahead.

"What would Leeds and West Brom say? What would Fulham say if they don't come up and you promote those two? Do the bottom three in the Premier League not get relegated?

"Safety is the most important thing so allow this season to take as long as it does, there's no need to rush back as you are delaying Euros to 2021. If you have to play one game a week from October, and mean the season goes on until next January or February, then you can kick-start the next season at the right time rather than play catch-up for years."

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler says the English domestic league seasons must reach a conclusion for fairness, even if it forces a curtailed campaign next year.

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