Liverpool could benefit from Champions League confusion as UEFA deadline passes – Liverpool Echo

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Liverpool could be European champions for another 12 months despite having been knocked out of the Champions League this season.

Atletico Madrid beat Jurgen Klopp’s men home and away in the last-16, with the second leg of that tie remaining the last competitive fixture that Liverpool played.

But the rest of this year’s tournament is under threat thanks to the coronavirus.

Across Europe, where the pandemic has hit hardest, different approaches to domestic campaigns have been taken.

In Belgium, a points-per-game decision was taken to award Simon Mignolet’s Club Brugge the title, but that is impossible in a knockout tournament.

In France, the season has been cut short too, with Thomas Tuchel’s PSG named champions with 11 games to play. Meanwhile, in Germany, matches are back underway, and the plan is for the Premier League to follow suit in a few week’s time.

But getting matches going again in Europe while travel is restricted, with a two-week quarantine period currently required for anyone arriving in the UK, presents a number of difficulties.

Then there is the sporting side of the issue, with

PSG

, where their competitive season is over and sport of any kind banned until the end of August, unable to have the same level of match fitness or technical sharpness as their contemporaries, for example, in Germany, even if they can travel to a neutral venue outside of their home country.

More should become clear on what UEFA do next in the coming weeks, with their deadline of May 25 for leagues around Europe to decide what they did now having been passed.

The administrative body are extremely keen to get the competition finished, while clubs too would prefer not to lose the money from the lucrative tournament taking place, but that might not be feasible.

As football finance expert Kieran Maguire told a special Blood Red podcast: “UEFA are desperate for a conclusion to the season and it is very noticeable that they are very quiet with their projections.

“A lot of that is waiting on them trying to work out whether it is feasible to play out both the Champions League and the Europa League.

“The challenges are significant and it could be done behind closed doors at neutral venues just as a means of having some form of closure.

“The degree to which you progress through the tournament does have financial implications in terms of the way prize money is allocated.

“And then there is the crazy 10-year UEFA coefficients that have to be calculated, and that the team that wins the competition automatically qualifies next year as well, as does the team that wins the Europa League.

“UEFA would be very reluctant to call the whole thing off this season but there are going to be problems.

“The French league domestically has been called off so where does that leave those clubs that are meant to be playing in Europe?

“Every time you think you have got an answer, up pops another question.

“UEFA are having massive WhatsApp meetings and Zoom meetings, as we all are these days, but every time you have an answer, it creates a new problem.”

Unlike the Premier League, null and void is not off the table for the Champions League.

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Liverpool, in a way, stand to benefit from that being the case by virtue of their crown not being stolen, though any decision on what comes next will be riddled with issues.

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