THE GOLDEN BOOT GAME

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Premier League Still On To Restart Season At Some Point

Published: 20 May 2020

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INTRODUCTION

Now I love a football stat as much as the next man, even if the next man is wearing a sheepskin coat (as your parents!). Also, statistics about fantasy football have been the lifeblood of this blog for many a long year and, let’s face it, that’s all down to me. The current virus pandemic has brought a blistering array of statistics to almost every news website and TV bulletin, not to mention the many special TV programs based entirely on statistics. Frankly, the lure of these statistics was quite short lived. After just a few days I had already had enough and by now I’m well and truly sick of them. I’m sure that many of you will agree that the sooner we get football back and some good harmless and just as meaningless statistics, the better we will all feel.

THE GOLDEN BOOT GAME

This time I just want to say that we are still ready and waiting for a resumption of the Premier League which will allow us to finish off the Golden Boot Game season in a manner pretty close to what we had planned when the season started. I know we have been pretty smug about the contingency plans we have in place in case the Premier League does not resume. I make no apologies for being more organised and decisive than the football authorities but it’s much easier to get agreement when nobody is going to sue you. I do want to emphasise that, no matter how good they might be, we do not want to have to use any of our contingency plans. We want the Premier League season to finish properly and the Golden Boot Game too.

The Premier League, the clubs and the government all seem to be moving towards a resumption of matches in June. While certain individual managers, players and even club executives may not be giving their full backing to the plans, the general consensus is all moving in the same direction and for that we can be thankful. We at the Golden Boot Game are right behind this general consensus, too. We would just like a little more detail on the plans.

THE PREMIER LEAGUE

In the two weeks since my last blog the earliest possible date for the Premier League to resume has been pushed back by about a fortnight. We are certainly no nearer to having a definite plan for concluding the season. The idea of playing at neutral venues has been discarded for the present. However, the alternative of playing the fixtures at the home club’s ground but behind closed doors has largely been accepted.

The Premier League does have a plan, though. It is a plan that covers how the clubs will build up their training and testing to arrive at full contact training sessions at some future date several weeks down the line. With matches unlikely to resume until mid to late June, the Premier League has pointed out that there will be free dates in August, in between the dates used for European competitions, which could be used to complete the current season. This may well leave our clubs that remain in European competition at a distinct disadvantage compared with their foreign rivals whose seasons have been completed leaving them to concentrate fully on Europe. However, this would be entirely consistent with the Premier League’s attitude to their clubs in European competition. While other countries often postpone fixtures to give their clubs a longer build up to important European knockout ties, in England we prefer to arrange a vital top four clash a couple of days before a big European match and follow it up with a difficult away trip a couple of days after.

Talking of other countries, several of the major European leagues now have definite dates for a restart and in Germany’s case they have already played one round of matches. There is no doubt that it will reflect very badly on the Premier League if the other big European Leagues are completed while ours is not. The Premier League does, however, have a couple of outs; if something were to go wrong in any of the resumed leagues they could use that as excuse for not restarting, alternatively they might be able to shift the blame for their failure onto the government. The preferred approach among the leagues that have decided not to resume has been to use some method of ranking their teams for the current season. Champions, relegated clubs, European qualification and playoff places have all been determined. Some leagues have abandoned the rest of their league campaign but retained their playoff matches which leaves some clubs having to resume and others on holiday. Let us hope that the Premier League can resume so it doesn’t have to make any difficult and, no doubt, contentious decisions.

COMING UP

We are looking at Wednesday 3rd June as the date to publish the next blog. Even if the Premier League’s restart plan has no more detail by then, we will at least have more feedback from the Bundesliga matches. Some other European leagues will also have restarted or be about to restart by then. Should the Premier League decide to end the season before our next blog we will wait until 3rd June to announce our Golden Boot Game prize winners, explain the results and congratulate the winners. In other words, you won’t be hearing from us again until June. Till then stay safe and down with all pandemics.


Player Comments on the Blog

From: Cheshire Town

at: 17:27 on 28 March 2020

Good blog very interesting. I vote for single round of premier league matches on resumption.
YNWA

From: Bury Wanderer

at: 15:15 on 18 May 2020

Usual brilliant blog full of information. Just a thought if golden boot cup unable to finish I for one being one of the four teams left in the competition would not object to it being called "Null and Void" and prize money being donated to NHS. What are the views of the remaining 3 teams? It would be a little harsh for me to suggest the same for the golden boot game because of my position in the league

From: CONTROLLER

at: 13:03 on 20 May 2020

Every prize winner can donate their prize to any charity of their choice. As we are not aware of the individual circumstances of our players we would always prefer to leave it up to each winner to decide which prize to choose and how to use it. Given the current situation we will probably emphasise that the charity option is available when we ask winners to choose whether the season is completed or not. Our intention is very much to complete all our competitions including the Cup even if the Premier League is not restarted.

From: Bury Wanderer

at: 22:18 on 21 May 2020

I agree with your comments the way you have outlined them makes sense. Good blog and read once again, hope all are keeping safe and well

From: Ingleborough Diamonds

at: 11:06 on 22 May 2020

If I should win the Golden Boot Cup I will certainly be donating the prize to charity. Might have used up all my luck in the quarter final though.

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