Wayne Rooney believes Liverpool should be given the chance to finish the Premier League season and lift the trophy as champions.
The former Manchester United striker, who supports Everton, says not finishing the 2019-20 campaign after the coronavirus pandemic subsides would create too many problems, including “legal fights”.
Writing in the Sunday Times, the player-coach at Derby County also indicated it may take until the end of this year to do so, but that football must follow the governments advice on how to deal with the health crisis.
“Liverpool will win the Premier League,” he said. “Now, as you can imagine, I have Everton fans phoning me up saying: ‘The season has to be cancelled!’ And, of course, as an Evertonian and someone who played for Manchester United for 13 years, there’s a bit in me that thinks that would be good .
“But no. Liverpool have been fantastic. They have put so much work in. They deserve this title. Can you imagine waiting 30 years and then having it taken away like this? The right decision has been made.
“It’s also right in terms of promotion and relegation and Champions League places. These issues are so big for the clubs involved that I imagine there would be a lot of legal fights if the season was just abandoned.
“The fair thing is to finish 2019-20 – even if we have to lose next season in the process.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if finishing the season takes until the end of 2020. Football, like every other industry, is in unknown territory and, just like every other industry, has to listen to the advice and take all necessary precautions.
“For me, that rules out finishing the season behind closed doors.”
Liverpool were 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the table when the season was suspended and required just two more wins to claim their first Premier League title.
The Premier League will reconvene to discuss the implications of coronavirus at its next club meeting on April 3, with reports that a tentative plan to try to resume in early June is being discussed.