We reported this morning, after reading the Premier League handbook, that a rule dictates Liverpool and Manchester United should be postponed but the FA’s rules suggest otherwise.
Section L.12 in the Premier League handbook states that no club will receive punishment in terms of points deduction if the decision to delay, postpone or abandon a game is done so due to police or government intervention.
The Manchester police were on the scene both outside Old Trafford and outside the Lowry hotel where both teams were staying ahead of kick-off. The Premier League confirmed on its official website that the “rearrangement of the fixture will be communicated in due course.”
However, the FA’s own rules stipulate that Liverpool should, in fact, be awarded the three points and the game should not be rearranged.
According to section 8.3.4 of the FA handbook, “a match being abandoned due to the conduct of one Club or its members or supporters the Board has the power to order that the match is not replayed and to award either one or three points to the Club not at fault.”
The Premier League, Manchester United and Liverpool are yet to announce a date for the rearranged fixture but, according to the FA, it shouldn’t be.
Of course, this would have major implications on the league table as we are now at the business end of the campaign, with the fate of the title race resting on this game and Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four directly linked to their ability to overcome Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
As a Liverpool fan, I’d hate it if the Reds were awarded the points and somehow finished the season inside the Champions League qualification places only for rival fans to claim that it wasn’t deserved.
As things stand, Liverpool don’t deserve to play in next season’s CL but if they were to win their next five games and leapfrog Spurs, West Ham and Chelsea, you would not be able to detract from what would be an impressive reversal of fortunes.
Thomas Tuchel’s men currently have a chokehold on fourth place and are seven points above Liverpool although Jurgen Klopp’s players now have a game in hand over all the teams above them.
Chelsea have a nightmarish fixture list to navigate in May.
Their 2-0 win over Fulham saw them win their easiest game this month with Real Madrid in the CL, Manchester City, Arsenal, Leicester City in the FA Cup final, Leciester again but in the PL and then Aston Villa on the final day of the domestic season.
Liverpool have fewer games and will face opponents, that on paper, are easier to beat.
Southampton, West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace stand in their way while the fixture against Manchester United still needs to be rearranged.
Hopefully, the Reds can win all five games and miraculously find themselves in the top four come the end of the season.