Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is still keen on the Premier League sticking to the plan to relegate three sides, regardless of how the season is completed. The Daily Telegraph reports that United’s supremo does not want to allow the season to be voided, and is keen to finish the season with United in line for a fifth-placed finish as things stand.
Paper Round’s view: United and Woodward plainly do not want to call off the season because Manchester City’s ban from the Champions League means that fifth place is enough to qualify for the European competition. It is clearly cynical but it is fairly reasonable that City are not allowed to duck their punishment for failing to observe the rules.
Barcelona reach agreement with Lautaro Martinez – Euro Papers
Klopp surprised at lack of face masks
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is surprised at the aversion to face masks in the United Kingdom, according to the Mirror. Klopp said: We wear face masks, which I don’t understand why not everyone in England, especially in close areas, wear face masks and gloves. I don’t understand that, it helped in Germany a lot. I’m not an expert but it helped there a lot.”
Paper Round’s view: Klopp was last seen before the pandemic postponement attacking a Spanish journalist for questioning whether Atletico Madrid v Liverpool at Anfield should go ahead, so his wise opinions now should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is easy to be damning in retrospect despite his careless attitude before the outbreak took hold in Britain.
The Sun believes that the clause between Barcelona and their star player Lionel Messi has expired. The Argentine would have been able to leave on a free transfer this summer, but the contract of the 32-year-old forward had a clause in his contract that expired on May 30, meaning he will remain with the Spanish side until he decides to move on in another manner.
Paper Round’s view: The coronavirus has given plenty of players pause to think about whether they are better to risk a move elsewhere or if they should stay on at their current clubs. Given Messi’s age and - one can assume - huge wage demands, it is understandable that he will remain with his current club for the foreseeable future.
Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Warburton has complained that the plans to restart the Championship may compromise the fitness of the league’s players, according to the Daily Mail. He said: 'I've heard some former players say, "Just get on with it". But that's not the point, these are elite-level players who have not even returned to contact training, yet are now expected to play in less than three weeks. What about those out of contract? They will be thinking, "I'm going into this game ill-prepared. If I get a nasty injury that could be my next move or my career gone". Give the players the best chance. We don't want five subs, we want an extra seven-to-10 days to get our players ready.'
Paper Round’s view: It is increasingly clear that Britain’s return to sporting action, education and the world of work is heavily compromised and it is hard to see how a significant second wave is not inevitable. Footballers are merely a conspicuous example of the way that safety of lives is being compromised.