Hodgson wary of ‘artificial’ end to Premier League season


London (AFP) – Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has warned against “artificial means” of deciding the Premier League.

In a statement to the London club’s supporters, which saw the former England boss thank health workers and all those trying to combat the coronavirus, the veteran former England manager insisted there was widespread support for playing the 2019/20 season out to a finish.   

“Everyone is in total agreement we need an end to this season,” wrote Hodgson.

“We don’t want artificial means of deciding who wins the league, who gets into the Champions League, who gets relegated and promoted.”

His letter came after UEFA, European football’s governing body, warned a failure to complete domestic leagues could see clubs excluded from continental competitions next season. 

Hodgson said players who, in common with the rest of the British population, are currently in lockdown would ideally like three to four weeks’ preparation before playing a match again.

But the 72-year-old added: “I accept there may have to be a squeeze on that time-frame.”

The Premier League has been suspended until April 30 at the earliest, with further delays looking likely.

League leaders Liverpool, one of Hodgson’s former clubs, are a huge 25 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, with nine games to play and need just two more wins to be certain of their first English championship in 30 years.

Palace are currently safely in mid-table, with the Eagles 12 points clear of the relegation zone.

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