Liverpool deserve to be given Premier League title: Berbatov - GulfToday

Liverpool deserve to be given Premier League title: Berbatov

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Liverpool, who have a 25-point advantage over reigning champions Manchester City and nine games left, need six more points to guarantee lifting their first title in 30 years. File / Agence France-Presse

Former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov said that the 2019-20 Premier League title should be awarded to arch-rivals Liverpool if the season cannot get underway.

The Premier League is currently under indefinite suspension as the United Kingdom grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Liverpool were hurtling towards a first league title in three decades before the suspension and have a 25-point lead at the top of the table with nine games left. They hence need two more wins to confirm the title.

“People are suggesting to give the title to Liverpool, and honestly they deserve it the way they had been playing, nobody was going to catch them,” Berbatov, who scored 56 goals in four seasons at United told Betfair.

“With the way they play their games, the football they produced and how far they are in front, they fully deserve the title this season.”

The Premier League said in a statement on Friday that it is looking to finish the remaining league and cup matches. However, any return “will only be with the full support of the Government and when medical guidance allows.”

Over 4,000 deaths and 40,000 cases of infections have been reported in the UK. Worldwide the toll has reached nearly 60,000 and the number of reported infections is more than one million.

Ex-Bulgaria striker Berbatov, who also played for Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham in the English top flight, said he did not know which decision about completing the season would be the right one, adding “whatever is decided won’t be so popular”.

In 2010 Berbatov became the first United player to score a hat-trick against arch-rivals Liverpool in 64 years as the home side enjoyed a thrilling 3-2 victory at Old Trafford.

“It’s so strange, and it will be unfair on them (Liverpool) if the season is voided, they will be so disappointed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Premier League leaders Liverpool have furloughed some of their non-playing staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are holding talks about the prospect of salary deductions for players and senior staff, the club said on Saturday.

Liverpool added on their website that the furloughed staff would continue to receive 100% of their salaries.

Several English top-flight clubs, such as Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Newcastle United, have already put non-playing staff on furlough, with football’s return in England contingent on medical guidance and government support.

“Liverpool FC has placed some staff who are impacted by the Premier League suspension on furlough,” the European champions said in a statement.

“The club has confirmed those staff will be paid 100% of their salaries to ensure no member of staff is financially disadvantaged.”

Furloughed British workers can claim 80% of their wages up to 2,500 pounds ($3,065) per month as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means Liverpool will top up the remaining 20% of salaries for its furloughed staff.

Liverpool said salary deductions were being discussed and there was “a collective commitment at senior levels of the club” to secure jobs for employees.

“These discussions are complex and as a result the process is ongoing,” the club added.

Agencies

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