Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes elite football in the UK should be voided, with next season starting afresh, if there are any further delays to the season.
Stoke City’s campaign is currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, with professional football in England postponed until April 30, at the earliest.
However, with stricter social guidelines in place for the general public, the likelihood of the season returning in a matter of weeks does seem a distant one.
There are fears that the suspension could be extended, throwing the potential of the season being cancelled into focus. Earlier this week, all non-league football below the National League South/North was ended, with all results expunged and promotions cancelled.
Prior to the suspension, Stoke were battling to avoid relegation from the Championship, and were in a good run of form which saw them three points clear of the drop zone.
Wins over Cardiff and Hull, as well as draws with Blackburn Rovers and Luton Town, saw Michael O’Neill’s side move up to 17th place in the league standings.
But Ferdinand, speaking on BT Sport believes that any further delay to the season, should see all results voided.
“Times like this do push it home how important sport, contact and communication is when you are isolated and alone with your immediate family.
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“But we have to take into consideration football is just a game. As seriously as we all take it, the bigger picture is what is going on out in society.
“I’m sure in my own mind that if it’s not going to be an immediate fix in the next few weeks then the season needs to be voided and started again next season afresh.”
The former Manchester United defender added: “A lot of people like Liverpool fans will always say, ‘Oh that’s because you don’t want Liverpool to win the league’.
“Listen, if my team was in that situation I would think about people’s health and the wider society rather than my own gain.
“And this is a situation where I think exactly the same no matter who’s going to go up, who’s potentially going to go down, who could have won the league and who could have finished in the Champions League positions.
“I think across the board, it’s much more clearer, black and white, and just void the season and start again afresh.
“And there are going to be people disappointed, and there are going to be people that are probably more satisfied with that.
“But whichever way you go you’re going to be disappointing people and there’s going to be people that are more happy with the situation when you do it.
“So not everyone can win in this situation and that’s just a fact.”