Premier League: Ilkay Gundogan would give Liverpool the title

March 30th, 2020
Back Premier League: Ilkay Gundogan would give Liverpool the title

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says it would be "fair" to award current Premier League leaders Liverpool the title if the season won't be completed due to the coronavirus pandemic. All football in England is currently suspended until 30 April and might be suspended beyond that date as well, which means completing the season is a major doubt at this point. Liverpool have not won the Premier League title in the last 30 years and now they have a 25-point advantage over Manchester City with nine matches left. This means the Reds would only need two more wins to secure the title. 

Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was asked in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF if it would be ok to give the Reds the trophy if the season is cut short, and he replied: "For me, that would be OK, yes. You have to be fair as a sportsperson." Premier League club representatives are due to meet on 3 April, when they will discuss a possible extension to the current postponement. The last round of Premier League fixtures was supposed to take place on May 17, but if matches are postponed beyond April 30 then the season ending could go past the end of June. Aleksander Ceferin, president of UEFA, said on Saturday the 2019-20 season could be lost if it won't be restarted by the end of June. 

England and Tottenham captain Harry Kane also had his say, he thinks the Premier League season should be scrapped if it cannot be completed by the end of June. "I know the Premier League will do everything it can to finish the season," said Kane. "There needs to be a point where enough is enough. Probably the limit for me is the end of June." Most Premier League clubs have nine games left to play in the 2019-20 campaign, which would take around three to four weeks to complete. 

"There are different opinions. For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn't be nice if it was cancelled now," Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan 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." The coronavirus situation leaves clubs in a difficult financial position as well, without gate receipts and other sources of income. 

Big clubs like Juventus and Borussia Dortmund have asked their players to accept reduced wages so that other staff can be paid, but in England there have not been any such requests yet. Ilkay Gundogan said he would accept reduced wages if the club would ask: "Of course I think it's OK, that goes without saying, but there's been no discussion in England yet," he said. 


"Ilkay Gundogan: Fair to award Liverpool Premier League title if season not completed", BBC Sport, 30 March, 2020


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