Dimitar Berbatov has hit out at calls for the Premier League season to be voided amid the coronavirus crisis and claims Liverpool ‘fully deserve’ to win the title after a magnificent start to the campaign.
The English top flight has been suspended indefinitely due to the devastating pandemic and the season will only return when it is safe and appropriate, with a restart date ‘under constant review’.
Liverpool currently have a 25-point lead over second-placed Manchester City with nine matches remaining and Jurgen Klopp’s side need just two more wins to get their hands on the trophy.
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But despite the Reds being within touching distance of their first title in 30 years, Rio Ferdinand insists the season must be voided as he feels it cannot be completed without compromising the health of fans and players.
‘I just think the Premier League should be void. Void it,’ the former Manchester United defender said during an Instagram Q&A last week.
‘I know there’s going to be a lot of Liverpool fans going, “Oh, Rio, it’s just because you used to play for Man United”.
‘I just don’t see a way that can be done where health isn’t compromised. Simple as that. All this behind closed doors business – you’re still going to have players there, are the players not part of society?
‘There are players who are going to go down with the illness who might not have recovered, or catch it from someone then it spreads to other players. It won’t be fair, it’s not a level playing field. I just don’t feel it’s right.
‘There are going to be people in the stadium, security, it puts everyone at risk. All this “oh we’re going to win this” or “so-and-so might go down”… you’ve got to put those type of things to one side.
‘This is about life and death situations, about society in the wider grand scheme of things. Football it ain’t that serious in that sense.
‘Listen, we all love it but it ain’t life or death, when it comes to matters like this, you’ve got to put people’s heath before anything.
‘Start the season, clean slate, once all this health situation has been sorted out we can start the new season but I don’t see it happening in that time.’
‘Now if we wake up one morning in the next month and it’s all gone and the country can get back to normal immediately then we can have a conversation about that but I don’t see that happening, not from what we’re being told, and the experiences that other countries who are two or three weeks in front of us, we’re not going to be in a place to do that.
‘PSG vs Dortmund the other day, behind closed doors but outside there were thousands of fans out there. Imagine Liverpool win the league, which they would, do you think those fans after 30 years of hurt will sit at home and say, “Well done, guys”?’
Despite his close ties with Manchester United and former team-mate Ferdinand, Berbatov has argued against calls to void the season as he believes it would be ‘unfair’ on Liverpool and their supporters.
‘People are suggesting to give the title to Liverpool, and honestly they deserve it the way they had been playing, nobody was going to catch them,’ Berbatov told Betfair.
‘With the way they play their games, the football they produced and how far they are in front, they fully deserve the title this season.
‘It’s so strange, and it will be unfair on Liverpool if the season is voided, they will be so disappointed.’
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