Liverpool started the season as second favourites to win the Premier League title, with odds of 5/2, behind Manchester City on 8/13. By October last year, however, it was clear that the Reds were reigning supreme over their rivals and bookmaker William Hill, along with many other bookies, revised their odds to make Liverpool 8/11 favourites. Before the League was suspended due to the current worldwide pandemic, Liverpool had won 27 of their 29 matches, with one draw and only one defeat all season, leaving them 25 points clear of rivals Manchester City.
At present the 2019/20 is suspended until at least 30 April and the Premier League has made tentative plans to resume on June 1 for a six-week period to complete the season’s remaining fixtures behind closed doors, provided that emergency services are willing and able to provide practical back-up for the matches and that the matches themselves will not contravene the coronavirus regulations that may be in place at that time.
With such uncertainty, William Hill has taken the initiative and has decided to pay out on all bets that Liverpool would win the Premier League title, saying “It will come as small comfort to Liverpool fans who are desperate to see their team lift the title for the first time in 30 years. However, in our eyes, they are the champions and as such we are happy to pay out on them being the 2019/20 Premier League winners. We are paying out just shy of ¾ of £1 million to everyone who has backed them”.
This can only be good news for Liverpool fans who are so disappointed that the team’s gallop to their first league title for thirty years has been summarily halted. Liverpool players share the frustration with defender Virgil van Dijk saying of the title “If we won it in an empty stadium and the fans weren’t there, I’d be gutted for them”.
But Manager Jurgen Klopp has the last word on the issue, saying “All of us have to do whatever we can to protect one another. In society, I mean. This should be the case all the time in life, but in this moment I think it matters more than ever…Of course, we don’t want to play in front of an empty stadium and we don’t want games or competitions suspended, but if doing so helps one individual stay healthy — just one — we do it no questions asked. If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society, it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t” .