The Premier League is entering uncharted waters, as it tries to work out the best way to continue, resolve or void their seasons in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is not alone, of course. All of Europe is trying to figure out how best to handle the situation, with roughly three quarters of traditional August to May European domestic campaigns completed.
In France, the decision has been taken to curtail the season early and decide both the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 standings on a points-per-game basis.
This has worked out largely well in Ligue 1, given that every side bar runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain and mid-table Strasbourg has played 28 matches.
So, could this idea work in the Premier League?
The Premier League table – as it stands
As it turns out, a quick glance at the Premier League table shows that even under a points-per-game method, the top five would remain unchanged.
Liverpool are within fingertips of the Premier League title, and no amount of points-per-game trickery will deny them that.
Similarly, Manchester City (despite playing 28 games), Leicester City, Chelsea and Manchester United would remain in their current positions on a points-per-game basis.
Wolves versus Sheffield United
But behind them is where the points-per-game issue lies, with Wolves level on points with Sheffield United having played a game more.
Some simple maths tells us that if the season was decided on a points-per-game basis, Chris Wilder’s Blades would have 1.54 points-per-game, versus Wolves’ 1.48.
Not only would this cause a swing in Premier League prize money, it could also see the Yorkshire side thrusted into a Europa League spot at the expense of Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.
And with 16 of the 20 sides having played 29 Premier League games, there is only one other points-per-game induced switch, and it’s all in North London.
Under a points-per-game basis, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal would leapfrog arch-rivals Tottenham, with 1.42ppg to Spurs’ 1.41.
Premier League relegation
Aston Villa are the only other side to have a game in hand, but under a points-per-game method, the Villans would still be second-bottom in the table, with 0.89ppg versus 0.93 for Watford, Bournemouth and West Ham.
And should the season be decided on points-per-game, unlucky Bournemouth would find themselves relegated by a single goal.
So overall, finishing the season on a points-per-game basis would have relatively few complications for most teams – although boardroom discussions would be needed at Molineux and Bramall Lane.
Premier League table – Points-per-game
Want to know what that all means? We’ve put the Premier League table together on a points-per-game basis…
What do you think? Could the Premier League decide the season on a points-per-game basis? Would that be fair? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @Ladbrokes!