Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says it would only be “fair” for rivals Liverpool to be awarded the Premier League trophy if the season cannot be completed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Gundogan told German broadcaster ZDF that Liverpool deserved to be crowned champions given their massive 25-point lead over second-placed City, the current holders, which has left them just two wins away from the title.
“For me, that would be OK, yes,” Gundogan said, after being asked whether Liverpool should be handed their first top-flight title for 30 years should the season not be completed.
“You have to be fair as a sportsperson,” he added, while conceding that it was a difficult decision for football authorities given the impact that the cancellation of the season would have at both ends of the table.
“There are different opinions. For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn’t be nice if it was cancelled now,” he said.
“On the other hand, for clubs who aren’t doing as well and are maybe in the relegation places, an abandonment would obviously suit them.
The Premier League season has been suspended until April 30, but it is looking increasingly likely that the date may have to be pushed back further.
Germany international Gundogan also said he would be open to taking a pay cut should English clubs follow the likes of Juventus and Borussia Dortmund in asking their players to accept reduced wages so non-playing staff can be paid.
“Of course I think it’s OK, that goes without saying, [but] there’s been no discussion in England yet,” Gundogan said. “Perhaps that’s because the English clubs are a bit financially stronger than the clubs in Germany at the moment.
“I don’t know who has the final say in that decision. On the other hand, if a player says, ‘no, I don’t want that, I worked hard for it, I get my salary,’ then it can go in the opposite direction.
“For me personally, it would be OK, but, to be honest, you have to be tolerant, and if there are players who are against that, then that’s also an acceptable situation.”