Saturday, 14 March 2020

What happens if the season isn't finished?

FA Chairman Greg Clarke thinks it can't be. Given the sums at stake in relation to Premier League broadcasting contracts are eye watering, I would have thought that some way would be found to complete those matches, even if it means playing behind closed doors. In addition, what would one do about Liverpool? If they weren't given the title, their fans would be furious, but if they were, many would regard it as a fake title.

But what about the EFL? One could simply declare the season null and void and have no promotion and relegation. However, that would result in law suits from a number of clubs, not least Leeds United who see the Premier League in sight.

Another solution would be to accept the tables as they stand in which case Charlton would be relegated. Harsh, as they have not been in the relegation places until recently, but that would be typical Charlton bad luck.

Another idea that is being touted is that promotion/relegation play offs would be brought back. As third from bottom team Charlton would play the team in third place in League One, no less than Gobby's Oxford United! Any such games would be very tense affairs as some fans can remember.

Cancelling matches will deprive Charlton of much needed revenue. The central payment from the EFL is also at risk because of an inability to meet television contracts.

As far as player contracts are concerned, it should be possible in principle to make short-term extensions if matches were played in July.

As for the club, I understand that arrangements are being made to appoint a new CEO and management team, but this may take some days. There is contact with individuals in the UK prepared to provide assistance.

As for the expensive flat, I like the idea of stays there being offered as a Valley Gold prize!

Nick De Marco QC of Blackstone Chambers discusses some of the complicated legal issues such as force majeure here: Sport law, frustration and force majeure

He comments: 'The only certainty in these most uncertain times is that Covid-19 is likely to generate a plethora of future legal disputes which will shape our legal landscape, especially in the world of sport.' One might add that lawyers are likely do well out of these disputes and indeed our own dispute at The Valley.

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