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Coronavirus: Liverpool mayor dismisses Premier League resumption as 'non-starter'

5 months ago
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A return date for the Premier League has not been set but the mayor of Liverpool fears resuming action would lead to a "farcical" situation.

Liverpool's mayor has described plans to resume the Premier League season as a "non-starter".

The campaign was brought to a halt last month when Liverpool led the way by 25 points, needing just two more wins to secure a first top-flight title in 30 years.

It has been suggested fixtures could be played behind closed doors, potentially at a selection of neutral venues, but mayor Joe Anderson fears a "farcical" situation in his own city.

"Even if it was behind closed doors, there'd be many thousands of people who would turn up outside Anfield," he told BBC Sport.

"There's not many people who would respect what we were saying and stay away from the ground, a lot of people would come to celebrate so I think it's a non-starter.

"Even [by using neutral venues], I guess that a lot of people would turn up outside Anfield to celebrate and I understand the police's concerns around that, so there's a real difficulty here for us.

"I think it would be really difficult for the police to keep people apart and maintain social distancing if they were going to celebrate outside Anfield. It would be farcical."

The city's first directly elected mayor believes the 2019-20 season should be declared over, with Liverpool crowned champions, though he pointed out there are more serious matters at hand.

"I think the best thing to do is to actually end the season," he added.

"It isn't just about Liverpool – they've clearly won the league – they deserve it, they should be crowned league champions.

"The bottom line is, though, this is about health and safety and people's lives and I think football should have to come second in regard to making a choice here."

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