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'Lives matter' - Premier League should end now & restart next season due to coronavirus, says Allardyce

22:55 GMT+4 24/03/2020
Mohamed Salah Liverpool 2019-20
The former Newcastle, West Ham and England manager admits it would be "very sad" for teams like Liverpool if the campaign isn't completed

The Premier League season should be stopped and started afresh in the next campaign, according to former England manager Sam Allardyce.

While Allardyce admits such a measure would be “very sad” for clubs such as Liverpool, he says dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has to be the only priority right now.

Playing matches again, even behind closed doors, could place players at risk of contracting the virus, and would likely divert resources away from the National Health Service (NHS), with emergency services needing to be present at games.

"I've got a big fear that we should stop the season and look to start again next season," Allardyce told Sky Sports News.

"I don't know how you can finish a season with everything that's going on in terms of the NHS, how strained it is, and everybody needing to stay safe in their own homes.

"I think it's the way it has escalated into such a difficult period for the whole world and, particularly, for our country, how rapidly this virus is spreading and how many lives it looks like it is going to take, and because the only way we can stop it is by isolating.

"It'll be very sad for a lot of teams.

"In the Premier League, there's Liverpool, who have had such a fantastic season but lives matter and nothing takes precedence over that."

Liverpool are currently 25 points clear at the top of the table, needing just two wins from their remaining nine games to win their first title of the Premier League era.

There are plenty of other issues yet to be resolved, however, with a number of Allardyce’s former clubs having found themselves in a relegation battle this season.

Among them are West Ham, who currently sit outside the drop zone on goal difference alone.

Their vice-chairman Karren Brady attracted criticism by calling for the season to be declared null and void. Allardyce was asked why he thought Brady had made the comments.

"Protecting West Ham football club as best she can I would suggest, with my tongue in cheek,” he replied.

"It would get rid of all the problems they've had this season if it was finished now and restarted next season in terms of fighting against relegation - that's why she may have suggested it!"