The Owners’ Assembly corresponding to the month of May is set to take place this coming Wednesday, where important topics are usually discussed and, in some cases, surprising and unexplainable decisions are made as well. Last month was no exception. In April’s assembly, the incredible decision to dissolve Ascenso MX along with the promotion/relegation system was made as everyone’s attention was on the COVID-19 outbreak.
For this month’s meeting we don’t expect as big a surprise, although you never know what you can get when it comes to the Liga MX teams’ owners. The question that is on the table for Wednesday is the status of the current season which has yet to be completed. As it is known, the season was put on hold back in mid-March due to the COVID situation and has remained so ever since. But this “paused” status could change drastically in a couple of days.
As we stand today, two main options emerge as to what the future may hold for the Clausura 2020. The first option, and in my view the less likely, is the total cancellation of the season. In other words, no more regular season games or playoff games, meaning the season ends where it is today with a vacated title. Why would the vacated title be the way to go? Simple; the league format in Mexico dictates that the champion must be decided through a playoff system, not at the end of the regular season as it is in the most important leagues in the world. And we all know the story in Liga MX where the top runner in the league standings rarely is crowned champion. Ergo, the vacated title is the fairest solution in the case of taking the league cancellation route.
The other main option at play is a possible league restart anywhere from mid-June to the beginning of July. While I don’t fully support this idea, I believe it is the one that will be taken by the owners and league officials because of the economic consequences if they don’t. The problem with this idea is that the possibility of a return in this way seems extremely precipitated. Although the players have taken part in online training sessions with the rest of their teams, it is not the same as having a regular soccer training rhythm and program in place. The players will not return at 100%, substantially increasing the risk of injury to any player along with the packed scheduling of games. With seven games to go in the regular season, the league would make every week a double feature, meaning the teams would play seven games in four weeks, much more than what they are used to. Not to mention the playoffs, which include three more weeks of double features for the teams who reach the Final.
I personally believe the league will choose to go with the second option due to our empirical evidence of how they always choose what is in their best interest, even if it means stepping over the livelihood of others, just as they proved last month. The smartest idea would undoubtedly be to call it quits for this season, as the scheduling and resting periods for the players would put them in real danger of serious injuries because of their lack of actual on-the-field football conditioning.
We’ll see which way the league decides to go on Wednesday. There may be another surprise thrown in there as well, as Bonilla mentioned last month that possible teams 19 and 20 for next season would be revised in this session as well. So, at this point, expect anything.