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Lawrie Sanchez says Liverpool would be 'champions with an asterisk forever' if they are awarded Premier League title


Lawrie Sanchez

Lawrie Sanchez

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Lawrie Sanchez

Former Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez believes the current Premier League season will not be completed, as he suggested Liverpool's coronation as champions would mean they are forever tarnished with an asterisk next to their name in the record books. 

With several clubs objecting to plans to play the remaining matches of the current season at neutral venues, high profile players such as Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have expressed their doubts over a restart so soon after more than 32,000 lives have been lost due to the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

Former Wimbledon midfielder Sanchez has claimed that he does not expect football to return any time soon.

"I can't see how football comes back next month," said Sanchez, ahead of a screening of The Crazy Gang, a documentary looking at the story of Wimbledon FC this Thursday at 10pm on BT Sport 2.

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"For me, the plans they are putting together will not become reality and the season will never be finished.

"Sergio Aguero came out and said he was worried about returning to football while we are still in the middle of this and he won't be alone.

"I don't think players will be put up with being quarantined and not allowed out of a team hotel for two months and if they go home after training, maybe living with older people, and that means a lot of players will opt out of playing.

"That means playing weakened teams, in empty stadiums and all teams playing at neutral grounds. Do we really want to watch that?

"Then what happens when it turns out that a player or a manager or even a physio has contracted the virus? Does the whole team need to be quarantined for two weeks and all their matches put back? I can't see it and that's why I think the plans they are putting together will never happen.


Lawrie Sanchez scored the winning goal for Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool at Wembley

Lawrie Sanchez scored the winning goal for Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool at Wembley

Lawrie Sanchez scored the winning goal for Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool at Wembley

"While it would be nice to see promotion and relegation sorted before we have a break and hope that the virus is controlled or neutralised by a vaccine, but all of that looks like a long shot right now."

Sanchez, who famously scored the winning goal against Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final, believes Jurgen Klopp's runaway Premier League leaders could be declared as champions in the event that the season is not concluded, even though he suggests that achievement would lack some gloss.

"I think you can declare Liverpool as champions, but you would have to have them as champions with an asterisk forever," he added.

"It is ironic that Klopp was the manager pushing more than anyone else for a winter break and since they had that interruption in the season, Liverpool lost all their momentum and the dip in form and the time taken out of the season means they could have won the league by now if they didn't have that break.

"If the league is not completed, I don't think anyone would object to them being champions as they are so far ahead at the top, but there will always be that mark against them because they never quite got over the finishing line."

Online Editors