A European Cup Cup Playoff™ COULD be the solution

by & filed under News Review.

It’s fascinating piecing together all the component parts of this outbreak and the impact it’s having on the Premier League.

Firstly, I didn’t realise the league cancelled NOT because huge gathering of the proles could be a problem for society, oh no, they cancelled when Mikel Arteta was diagnosed because they worried about how long it’d take players to come back to full fitness. This line from The Guardian captures it neatly.

A Premier League club executive, who did not want to be named given the acute sensitivities of this crisis, said sports scientists’ advice is that a player needs one day of training for every day of isolation before they can be match fit. So the advisory 14-day isolation doubles to 28 days out of action. It appears close to impossible for squads, managers, coaching and other staff to operate at full strength as the virus spreads, peaks and runs its course.

Bit grim that it was players recovery times… not the idea that a stadium of 60,000 people is a hotbed of contagion that could kill people.

The dawning reality for football execs up and down the country is that the season is looking ever more likely to be cancelled.

Check out the podcast at the bottom of this post where I talk through some hypotheticals with Alex. We discussed a couple of areas that look less likely today. One of my unbelievable EUREKA JOHNSON moments centred around the problems of cancelling the season, I suggested we SHOULD play the season out to stop legal challenges. The bonus is we would resync world football and start next season in January. The benefit would be that we’d be in good shape for the Qatar World Cup. However, most players contracts run to June 30th, which would cause a headache for clubs. I don’t really buy that, we’re changing the season in 2 years, why not now? It’d be better for everyone if this season was finished fairly.

Apparently, there’s a taste for nullifying the league right now but in a less extreme way that Karen Brady is suggesting (namely, letting clubs have last seasons spots). Promote WBA and Leeds, give Liverpool the title, and make all the leagues bigger for a year by not relegating anyone. I could be onboard with that, but I’d be pretty miffed if Arsenal lost out on Europe. We’re very much in the mixer. If we win our game in hand, we’re two points from United. Sure, we’ve been shite all season, but so have United, hence their drab points total.


… and there is the problem, if I can’t play nicely, do you really think Don Raul is going to forsake that Champions League pot of gold he bet this summers transfer budget on? I have my doubts. However unlikely Champions League seemed, it was on the cards. I think we’d have even more of a chance if Arteta had 3 months to practice his ideas with the team. We’d be fitter, smarter, and we’d have a few games to build into the City game (the game in hand).

Another BOBBY DAZZLER of an idea we were mulling was a European Cup Cup Comp™. Isn’t that a pithy name?

If we’re settled on Leicester, Liverpool and City as the Top three, we could play a knockout for the remaining European places. Maybe we could run a futsal league? 8 teams battle it out. The winners take home Europe. The final could be called the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL, you know, because both teams would qualify? I can work on nomenclature, keep with me here, it’s a good idea, we’re moving things forward and you damn well know it.

The really interesting impending firestorm is the one around TV money. Do fans get their subs back from the TV companies? Or is it force majeur (get fucked in French)? Part of the problem is we pay monthly, so fans will just cancel the football part. The question focusing on whether the TV companies take back the money they’ve lost in upfront payments? It ‘could’ be solved by growing the league by 3 teams and giving the TV firms the extra games for free next season. The Premier League might also have to drop their pants on 3pm kickoffs and give Sky a sniff at those. We could also see a relegation playoff introduced like they have in other countries, that’d help plump up the lost advertising revenue.

Damn, we are solving issues at a rate of knots today chaps and chapesses.

On the Mikel Arteta front, he’s doing well according to his wife.

“My husband is feeling fine, he is well. It’s true that he had symptoms of the virus but the symptoms would have never stopped him from going to work in a normal situation.”

I love that she’s just admitted that Mikel usually takes his illness into work. What a pig.

Before I go though, I haven’t seen my GF for the best part of 2 months, she came home yesterday. I foolishly thought I’d slink out and support the people in restaurants who won’t be earning any money… thinking New York would be a ghost town. My oh my, it was fucking packed. The sun was out, people were playing in the park, and all the bars were fucking rammed. Then I read this today and felt real guilty.

Calm before the storm after reading that bad boy! Stay safe and pretend those canned kidney beans are a dining delight by serving them up artfully!

Right, I guess that’s me done for today. Let me know if there are any topics you want me to write about over the coming weeks.

We’re going to have A LOT of time to kill….


Spotify | iTunes | Stitcher

313 Responses to “A European Cup Cup Playoff™ COULD be the solution”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Marc


    Infections to whom? Healthy adults who make a complete recovery?

    So far we have not had a death to someone who is either under 60 or does not have other health complications – the majority of deaths have been people both over 60 who also have further health complications.

    You want to shut everything down? For how long? Think about it before you answer.

  2. andy1886

    Marc, the recommendation was shutting schools, not ‘everything’. Yes primarily people with poorer immune systems would die but does that make them expendable? Unfortunately the alternative would be no less disruptive. More illness ultimately means more people off work and so the same end result. The difference is that the governments original policy would have meant massive loss of life for no obvious benefit. Which is why they’ve made another u-turn.

  3. Valentin

    Funny how the “we don’t need expert” brigade always decide to take refuge behind experts when the shit hit the fan and they suddenly realise that the no amount of attempt at scapegoating will change the fact most people will judged them as responsible for the response fiasco.

  4. Arteta’s Hair


    There has been one 59 year old male die in UK, not trying to split hairs sir.

    I agree that the 60+ population (or younger with respiratory illness) are where the worry is and the majority of what the Government is trying to is aimed squarely there.

    Would shutting the world down for say 2 weeks kill this thing off? Surely if that were true it would be being considered.

    Bottom line is most will be ok, and I guess life has to go on as shutting everything down for a long period will be financial suicide for many more and future generations that haven’t lived … unlike the 60+ population.

    Life has to go on on some level and I don’t mean that harshly against the over 60’s.

    One thing we all want is minimal loss of life and I think as a species we have to look in the mirror as this was caused by humans who in a twisted sense are a virus to this planet we all call home.

    Things need to change or this will only be the beginning of more of the same or worse.

    Perhaps this is Mother Nature giving is a warning?!

    Soap box away now

  5. andy1886

    One positive (if true) note was that Public Health England are ‘rapidly’ developing a test to show if people had previously been infected which means that if you know you’ve had the virus and recovered you can resume normal activities without endangering others.

  6. Arteta’s Hair

    Shutting not shitting lol

    Pedro – can we make it so we can edit a post after posting, for the retards among us … me?!

  7. Spanishdave

    There is a lot of shitting going on!
    It will be nice when footy gets back,most players will be fit and raring to go.

  8. andy1886

    Hear hear to that Spanish. Let’s hope they are actually fit and don’t spend the next few months on the beer and eating kebabs (easily done when you’re bored, at least for the rest of us anyway). Rooney will be the size of an oil tanker….

  9. Un na naai

    MarcMarch 16, 2020 23:18:01
    andyInfections to whom? Healthy adults who make a complete recovery?So far we have not had a death to someone who is either under 60 or does not have other health complications – the majority of deaths have been people both over 60 who also have further health complications.You want to shut everything down? For how long? Think about it before you answer.

    There you go again Marc
    So what? Do they not deserve a chance to
    Carry on living? An otherwise healthy father of 3 who is 49 with a heart or lung issue he doesn’t yet know about doesn’t matter? What about Granada? Gran? Auntie and uncles?
    You continue to dismiss these people to
    Keep the schools and tube system open

    Nobody wants to kill their elder loved ones so they are staying away anyway

  10. Un na naai

    This is going around.
    I know nothing about the economy myself but

    If you like a conspiracy theory.

    Impact of coronavirus on stock exchanges worldwide, within 1 month:

    🇺🇸 -26%
    🇬🇧 -26%
    🇨🇦 -25%
    🇧🇷 -27%
    🇷🇺 -20%
    🇦🇪 -19%
    🇿🇦 -16%
    🇦🇺 -24%
    🇮🇳 -14%
    🇸🇬 -17%
    🇭🇰 -12%
    🇰🇷 – 17%

    Now, look at this:

    🇨🇳 (China) + 0,3%

    China, creator of the pandemic, has miraculously “recovered”, has almost no more cases of coronavirus. The world is now beginning to feel the effects and panic about the disease. Who recovered first ?? China itself! It seems to be that this virus was a move by the Chinese government in response to the loss of the trade war with the United States. The goal: to throw the world into recession !!!
    Is the scenario not clear? They are already growing! China bought almost everything it devalued on the stock exchanges around the world … with that the Chinese became owners of the global companies that are in China and without the money leaving China.

    This is what it’s all about.

  11. Gentlebris

    I thought some Aussie was talking about chloroquine yesterday, or was he having too much to drink?

    Surely people who feel they are showing covid-19 symptoms must have eaten some chloroquine, and if the virus disappears as that dude claims then some C rated journalists would have made a gold mine of it.


    Maybe too early for all of that to have happened.

    I just realize this can’t go on, people are scared shitless to get on the plane and go do their work.
    Then not having football games is itself like an acute respiratory problem.

    Pedro, can you organize some kind of contest here? Or maybe a debate, like why Donald Trump is a better leader than Boris Johnson. Just something before this place turns to a sad covid-19 parlour.