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dylanisabaddog

Void season - what the rules say

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https://www.premierleague.com/publications

I have listened to countless so called experts on radio and TV talking about what will happen if the season is void. None of them has read the Premier League handbook.

Rule C1 says that every team shall play each other team at home and away. 

There is nothing in the handbook that gives the Premier League the right to ignore that rule. So what happens if we can't complete the fixtures? 

There is a huge clue in the fact that West Ham and Spurs asked for the season to be voided at the meeting yesterday. They have obviously had legal advice to say that the season will be treated as if it hadn't happened. Spurs will be back in Europe and West Ham will stay up. 

There is no other solution within the rules other than starting from scratch next season. If the Premier League makes up new rules it would be sued. 

I'm sure some of you might have a different view but I think you need to back that view up with some cold hard facts. 

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, dylanisabaddog said:

 I'm sure some of you might have a different view but I think you need to back that view up with some cold hard facts. 

With the sudden emergence of so many self appointed league specialists on here, let's all just remember this is a place to discuss such things, not put cases forward to the F.A.

You may be right, but this is an entirely unprecedented situation, one in which they could easily apply new contingency rules depending on what is to happen (which, we cannot foresee at the moment).

We aren't making the decisions so no, they don't need 'cold hard facts'. Not here. See below for the reason:

SmartSelect_20200314-120709_Google.jpg

Edited by Flying Dutchman
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I believe it will have to be agreed amongst the clubs themselves. It seems that no decisions have been made yet and there will obviously be some contrasting opinions in line with teams'  respective positions in the league.

Firstly I think it's highly unlikely that normal service will resume in April, with UK cases not expected to peak until June or July. Even if we were all forced to stay at home from today, cases would continue to grow exponentially for two more weeks. By that time we will possibly be looking at 2000 new cases per day and 10,000 total cases. With schools still open and people still going on as normal, that rate will continue to grow. Italy are about two weeks ahead of us and have already shut everything down but have over 17,000 cases with more than 2500 new cases yesterday. Because of the 14 day incubation period, we are likely already at that level of infection.

So the likelihood is that, in the next few days (or maybe a week or two) the government will shut everything here down. That shutdown will almost certainly last for a couple of months, but cases will still continue to grow before starting to drop back again. The problem is that you have to wait until everyone is well again before you can even begin to allow people to mix again, so it is unlikely that crowds will be back at football matches before the summer and likely much longer.

In theory, however, if all players and staff are isolated for two weeks and there are no more cases amongst them, games could start up again fairly quickly behind closed doors. So football doesn't necessarily have to follow the general population. This is probably a remote possibility as players will likely have been infected already and be passing it between each other and will continue to do so. Also, they have families, kids who go to school etc so they aren't going to be protected from catching it elsewhere unless they are kept in isolation even when healthy.

So, assuming that no more matches are played before August, there are sill decisions to be made. There is no compelling reason to assume that a new season should or will start in August. There is a reasonable argument to say that this season should be completed first before another one starts, no matter how long the delay is. There could easily be a whole year off before picking up again next spring. There are obvious complications with contracts etc so I can see some legal wrangling and possible compensation whatever the outcome.

Ultimately the clubs have to make a decision between them so nothing is off the table. There have been suggestions of playoffs, expanded leagues (no relegation) or just ending the season now with the current table being final. As it's a developing situation, expect these discussions to go on behind the scenes while the official position remains that everything will continue as normal from April, no matter how unlikely that actually is.

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Personally, I think it's likely that the virus is both beyond containment and less serious than statistics indicate because there are probably many people contracting it, passing it on and recovering without becoming ill enough to be tested. It will probably become endemic until they put together a vaccine in the next 12 months. At some point everything will have to carry on regardless although, sadly, many of us won't make it. I'm just not sure how long it will take them to decide that this is inevitable. Unfortunately, the window for containing it has well passed.

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If it's up to the club's then Daniel can call up his mate Jürgen and tell him he is voting for Liverpool to be given the title. Jürgen tells Daniel he is voting for Norwich to stay in the EPL. That's one vote in our favour. Two more will come from Aston Villa and Bournemouth......😛

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I daren't imagine a scenario of us remaining in the league due to coronavirus for fear of disappointment. 

I am working under the assumption we will be relegated regardless of whether the season is finished or not.

If they postpone the Euros we might see the season finished. The FA, clubs or players wouldn't want to write off next season in order to finish this. The financial implication of losing a season of football would be colossal.

If the season cannot be finished over the summer some tough decisions will have to be made. Ultimately for football clubs, there will be some winners and losers. Will losers be compensated? Will decisions be immune from legal challenge?

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I think the main factor in any decision around declaring the football season null and void will be linked to how the rate of confirmed cases in the UK pan out over the next three weeks. What needs to be remembered is when a player or manager is confirmed as contracting coronavirus then fellow players at  that club are likely to self isolate in line with current guidelines.

My personal opinion is that we will see the number of confirmed cases rise dramatically over the next 3 or 4 weeks and bearing in mind the Government are saying the true number of cases is likely to be at least ten times the official figure (still no confirmed cases in Norfolk but it is hard to believe that no one in a county with a population of 900K+ has coronavirus) then for me I do not believe there is any chance of fulfilling all fixtures and starting a new season this side of Christmas.

With this in mind, my personal opinion is that the season will be declared null and void, the Premier League will point to the rules that state all fixtures have to be competed as not being met. What they do after that is anybodies guess, but i would plump for an increased Premier League for one season.

With regard to to legal challenges, who knows, this is a totally unforeseen and quite significant event, the EPL and EFL could use that in their defence I would have thought.........

 

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Not sure what the agreement is between the EFL and the EPL, I don’t know if Leeds and West Brom have any rights to sue the EPL until they’re part of the season, thought they are governed by two different bodies?

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21 minutes ago, Indy said:

Not sure what the agreement is between the EFL and the EPL, I don’t know if Leeds and West Brom have any rights to sue the EPL until they’re part of the season, thought they are governed by two different bodies?

Their rules can be found on the Internet and are broadly the same. 

The season has to be completed for clubs to be promoted

Screenshot_20200314-151136_Chrome.thumb.jpg.df1e5dc845dad4403d20229e48c8f595.jpgScreenshot_20200314-151136_Chrome.thumb.jpg.df1e5dc845dad4403d20229e48c8f595.jpgScreenshot_20200314-151310_Chrome.thumb.jpg.444424d6df5d86c89c5a4878dc57795e.jpg

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5 minutes ago, dylanisabaddog said:

Their rules can be found on the Internet and are broadly the same. 

The season has to be completed for clubs to be promoted

Screenshot_20200314-151136_Chrome.thumb.jpg.df1e5dc845dad4403d20229e48c8f595.jpgScreenshot_20200314-151136_Chrome.thumb.jpg.df1e5dc845dad4403d20229e48c8f595.jpgScreenshot_20200314-151310_Chrome.thumb.jpg.444424d6df5d86c89c5a4878dc57795e.jpg

The key phrases there are......end of season, not suspended season or void season and Admitted, meaning allowed to join.

So again just my opinion not of a solicitor but if you’re in different organisations then you have little right to sue the premiership for not being promoted under a void season, but the premiership might get sued by relegating teams out the EPL without completing that season.

A mess.

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13 minutes ago, Indy said:

The key phrases there are......end of season, not suspended season or void season and Admitted, meaning allowed to join.

So again just my opinion not of a solicitor but if you’re in different organisations then you have little right to sue the premiership for not being promoted under a void season, but the premiership might get sued by relegating teams out the EPL without completing that season.

A mess.

Could either the Premier League or Football League, legally, be able to declare the 'end of the season' without all games being completed?

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6 minutes ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

Could either the Premier League or Football League, legally, be able to declare the 'end of the season' without all games being completed?

They can declare it nul and void because of the impossibility of completing the fixtures. They cannot say these are the final positions if the full raft of games have not taken place.

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The last season to be declared nul and void was 1939/40. Three games were played, there was no promotion or relegation.

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There's an article on the BBC website about schools in N Ireland and they are going to be closed for at least 16 weeks.

 

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9 minutes ago, ricardo said:

They can declare it nul and void because of the impossibility of completing the fixtures. They cannot say these are the final positions if the full raft of games have not taken place.

I agree and that post by dylan sort of backs up in the phrases that by winning the EFL you are invited to join the EPL, and such you can only sue the regulators of the league you’re in.

The more this goes on the more you’re going to be right ricardo.

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4 hours ago, dylanisabaddog said:

https://www.premierleague.com/publications

I have listened to countless so called experts on radio and TV talking about what will happen if the season is void. None of them has read the Premier League handbook.

Rule C1 says that every team shall play each other team at home and away. 

There is nothing in the handbook that gives the Premier League the right to ignore that rule. So what happens if we can't complete the fixtures? 

There is a huge clue in the fact that West Ham and Spurs asked for the season to be voided at the meeting yesterday. They have obviously had legal advice to say that the season will be treated as if it hadn't happened. Spurs will be back in Europe and West Ham will stay up. 

There is no other solution within the rules other than starting from scratch next season. If the Premier League makes up new rules it would be sued. 

I'm sure some of you might have a different view but I think you need to back that view up with some cold hard facts. 

And what if war broke out for instance? Sue the FA? It’s currently an unprecedented situation and anyone seeing anyone would get laughed out of court, without doubt. And what if the Govt had pulled the plug and not the prem league?!

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49 minutes ago, Indy said:

The key phrases there are......end of season, not suspended season or void season and Admitted, meaning allowed to join.

So again just my opinion not of a solicitor but if you’re in different organisations then you have little right to sue the premiership for not being promoted under a void season, but the premiership might get sued by relegating teams out the EPL without completing that season.

A mess.

Purely playing devils advocate here, but the words are "at the end of the season", not "the completion of the season". A season could be ended prematurely and be incomplete bit still ended. 

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1 minute ago, cornish sam said:

Purely playing devils advocate here, but the words are "at the end of the season", not "the completion of the season". A season could be ended prematurely and be incomplete bit still ended. 

Either way the entitlement of each club to sue anyone will be in that league they are in. From my perspective and join the premier league, means they are not in or under the premier league in this current season. As Ricardo says it’ll be more than likely to be called null n void season, reset and go again when this allows. Premiership will be under more pressure by relegating clubs than those stamping their feet for not being promoted.

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17 minutes ago, Indy said:

Either way the entitlement of each club to sue anyone will be in that league they are in. From my perspective and join the premier league, means they are not in or under the premier league in this current season. As Ricardo says it’ll be more than likely to be called null n void season, reset and go again when this allows. Premiership will be under more pressure by relegating clubs than those stamping their feet for not being promoted.

Yes, I fully agree, I was just playing DA... I don't believe there is any legally binding commitment for transfer of teams between the two organisations (hence the potential punishment of refusing reentry to the EFL if a team gets relegated whilst still having outstanding FPP breaches never being used)

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I cannot see how the season can be anything but voided, if only that it would save an awful lot of hassle.

Much as false start in the 100 yards means all competitors go back to the starting line - not a restart from where they were when the race was stopped

What ever is agreed, has to be the end of it before the new season could start.

I can only hope for City fans that if this is to be the case and City start another season in the PL, they are close by to a binner when the news is announced.

Of course there is the matter of PL prize money. If the season is void then so must the league positions therefore how is that money awarded ?

Where then the money the PL are due from Sky, BT if the full quota of games, and sponsorship, has not been delivered ? How much will that impact on subscriptions and their revenue as dosh to hand over to the PL

I suspect there will be an awful amount of pressure to relax rules on large numbers to avoid a huge number of businesses collapsing. So I suspect the doomsday scenario may well not happen..... unless you old with serious medical conditions,

Profit v persons....guess what ?

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Has to be voided, we're staying up up up, or put it another way, this season never happened.

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1 hour ago, ricardo said:

They can declare it nul and void because of the impossibility of completing the fixtures. They cannot say these are the final positions if the full raft of games have not taken place.

I was playing devil's advocate more than anything with that question, although some could attempt to argue that when we reach June 30, that's the 'end of the season', regardless of whether all matches have been played. Highly unlikely, but I'm just putting it out there.

 

7 minutes ago, Bill said:

Of course there is the matter of PL prize money. If the season is void then so must the league positions therefore how is that money awarded ?

Where then the money the PL are due from Sky, BT if the full quota of games, and sponsorship, has not been delivered ? How much will that impact on subscriptions and their revenue as dosh to hand over to the PL

This is possibly going to be the point that causes the biggest problem for a lot of teams, i.e. those who aren't battling relegation or Liverpool. Hopefully some of it gets lost down a black hole, in other words Sky don't pay for a quarter of the season, as money is out of control in the Premier League and anything that slows it down wouldn't be a bad thing.

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17 minutes ago, Bill said:

they are close by to a binner when the news is announced.

There is a very strong possibility of that, though semi retired for a while now, I often work alongside a binner in our landscaping enterprise. Added to the fact that he only lives a mile away, we are friends ( tin hat needed?) and often help each other out  with odd jobs on house and garden, I think i may be the,chap you are think of. It'll be fun.

Roight, said id help my grandson make an Aztec Spear. So I better had.👍

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Just a couple of points:

First, we are not going to see any disputes regarding a voided season being resolved in the High Court. The correct forum for any such dispute would be the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).  The CAS exists for resolution of sports-related disputes. It is designed to be more conciliatory / less adversarial, cheaper and quicker than recourse through the legal system.

Second, with regard to the agreement between clubs and the EPL I believe the best reference document is the EPL handbook. It is unhelpful on the subject of an early termination of the season. See page 102 attached. It simply says:

'C.14. Subject to Rule C.15, the bottom three Clubs in the table at the end of the Season shall be relegated to The Football League.'

file:///home/chronos/u-f165b0b83e6303ef773af0694155fbac146c43a8/MyFiles/Downloads/2019-20-PL-Handbook-020819.pdf

I am confident that the 'end of the season' was not reached and therefore Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth (as it stands) could not be relegated. As the Handbook is silent on the question  of an early termination of the season, the arbitrator would make a decision based on what was 'within the contemplation of the parties', when the rules were agreed. It would be sensible to decide that a premature ending of the season was not within the contemplation of the parties, therefore the season has not 'ended'. It could be carried over until after the pandemic has largely passed, but that will eat into season 2020/21, or the season could be voided..

The task for the EPL at this moment is very simple. 1 Find a solution to which sufficient member clubs agree. 2 Attempt to also reach agreement with affected third parties such as EFL, broadcasters, betting companies and sponsors. 3 Communicate to member clubs and others.

Lessons learned (which someone has raised elsewhere -  develop the EFL Business Continuity Plan with the agreement of all clubs, for use in any future crises.

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Would we not be badly out of pocket if the season is voided? We would of budgeted on at least getting the cash for finishing 20th. Which I presume we would no longer be getting?

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In the meantime I'm shelling out 40 odd quid a month for a season ticket that's likely to be worthless for the remainder of this season. I don't mind spreading the cost monthly and effectively paying in advance but I would expect a refund for this season's game that are cancelled or held behind closed doors.

image.thumb.png.a908eef14ce66a7fe5b986930f5b80fe.png

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Darth Canary1 said:

Would we not be badly out of pocket if the season is voided? We would of budgeted on at least getting the cash for finishing 20th. Which I presume we would no longer be getting?

I believe the EFL will distribute payments based on 'average points accrued per game', thereby overcoming the issue of some teams having played more than others. Funds allocated for disbursement to member clubs will still be used for that purpose.  

Edited by Pugin

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8 minutes ago, Darth Canary1 said:

Would we not be badly out of pocket if the season is voided? We would of budgeted on at least getting the cash for finishing 20th. Which I presume we would no longer be getting?

I think the money for finishing 20th is About £2 million. I guess losing that and any remaining revenue from the season will be easily overcome from another season in the prem.

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13 minutes ago, Darth Canary1 said:

Would we not be badly out of pocket if the season is voided? We would of budgeted on at least getting the cash for finishing 20th. Which I presume we would no longer be getting?

If that's the case, everyone else would be far worse off, as they spent all their budgeted money on players whereas we didn't.

So hopefully nobody gets their TV money 😉

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I thought the bottom team got like a 100 million or something stupid. We have had a year of paying our players premier league wages albeit likely low wages in comparison to everyone else.

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