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'Cancelling it has to be the option' - Ex-Everton star Graeme Sharp says Premier League should be declared 'null and void'

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Former Everton striker Graeme Sharp

Former Everton striker Graeme Sharp

Former Everton striker Graeme Sharp

Everton legend Graeme Sharp believes cancelling the current season 'may be the only option', as he suggested attempts to get the Premier League restarted in June are unrealistic.

English football chiefs have drawn up detailed plans to try and get the remaining games of the current season played after all matches were suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic last month.

Former Everton striker Sharp suggested he was shocked by the prospect of players returning to training next month at a time when the death toll from Covid-19 related deaths in the UK has passed 10,000.

"I would gladly just shut down the league, declare it null and void and we start back when we can," said Sharp.

"It's a shame for Liverpool as they won't win the Premier League title and for Leeds and West Brom in the Championship as they were hoping to get promotion, but this is an act of God and I can't see football coming back for a long, long time.

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Manchester United defender Paul McGrath and Everton striker Graeme Sharp challenge for a loose ball during the 1985 FA Cup Final  at Wembley Stadium, London on May 18, 1985. Photo: Bob Martin/Allsport/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Paul McGrath and Everton striker Graeme Sharp challenge for a loose ball during the 1985 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London on May 18, 1985. Photo: Bob Martin/Allsport/Getty Images

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Manchester United defender Paul McGrath and Everton striker Graeme Sharp challenge for a loose ball during the 1985 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, London on May 18, 1985. Photo: Bob Martin/Allsport/Getty Images

"You can't restart the season again in the winter, that would be strange, so I think cancelling it has to be the option.

"I saw reports in of German teams going back to training and I think, wow that's a bit early. I just don't think that's practical and can't see how it works in the current climate in the UK."

Football chiefs have been warned by the UK government that there may be no prospect of spectators attending matches again for the rest of this calendar year, which has hastened their eagerness to get matches played behind-closed-doors.

With around £750m of money from broadcast rights resting on the current season concluding and the threat of next season also being affected, Sharp suggests financial concerns should not be the driving factor behind the resumption of the season.

"We all want to see football again, but the most important things in people's lives and getting that right," he stated. "Rushing people back just for the sake of fulfilling fixtures is not right and the idea of playing behind closed doors? I'm not so sure about that.

"I listen to the news every day looking for a little bit of hope and I'm not getting any at the moment. You see so many stories about football teams and players getting battered for the donations they should be making and what they should and shouldn't be doing. Everything seems to evolve around football at the moment, but there are much more important things to worry about.

"I was chatting to someone in Scotland and they suggested that there would be thousands of people outside Parkhead of the day they win the league and the same goes for Liverpool. They will all be standing close together, singing and shouting. The police don't need that problem.

"How do you put a date on the games starting again? I just don't see how they can get around this and get games on any time soon. At this moment in time, let the powers that be concentrate on getting rid of this coronavirus.

"Start next season in August or September and this is the way it's got to go. There are too many permutations in terms of giving the league to Liverpool and saying Celtic are champions in Scotland, with Hearts getting relegated. You can't do that.

"Teams might go on a run and get out of relegation, so I just think you have to call a halt to it, declare it null and void and make that decision soon."

Watch Two Tribes, part of the BT Sport Films series, on Wednesday at 10pm on BT Sport 2. This channel is available to all Sky subscribers through Sports Extra in Ireland.

Online Editors