‘The integrity is gone’ – Liverpool’s title would be spoiled by coronavirus -Deeney

The Reds are just two wins away from a league title, but any resumption of play is yet to be decided

Watford striker Troy Deeney has said he feels sorry for Liverpool because even if they win the Premier League this term, it will be “spoiled” by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Reds had a 25-point over Manchester City and were just two wins away from a Premier League title when the league was shut down in March due to the spread of Covid-19.

The Premier League is still in discussions over a potential return, with clubs voting unanimously to resume contact training on Wednesday.

But any completion to the season will take place under odd circumstances, with it still possible that the campaign could be abandoned entirely.

Deeney has said any outcome is unfair on Liverpool, who are more than deserving of their first English title in 30 years.

“I believe that when it comes to the integrity of this season anyway, it’s already gone,” Deeney told CNN. “I feel sorry for Liverpool because no matter how it plays out, they deserve to win the league. They deserve to get the trophy.

“But no matter how it plays out, even if we play all the games, it’s still going to be the year spoiled by the pandemic. It’s not going to be that year that Liverpool won the league being the best team and, you know, it’s 30 years they haven’t won for.

“So I do feel sorry for Liverpool and their players and Jordan [Henderson], but in terms of integrity, there’s no way you could say that this is a viable competition.

“It’s like running a marathon, 20 odd miles, stopping for two months and then sprinting the last bit and going: ‘Ah, that was a good time that.'”

Though Premier League clubs have returned to training in small groups, Deeney has not been present due to concerns over his five-month-old son, who has breathing difficulties.

Deeney said that although he caught some flak online because of his decision, several other players expressing their concerns over the league’s restart, including Danny Rose, N’Golo Kante and Sergio Aguero, have helped change many people’s opinions.

“Personally, I just think this is showing me that the players have so much power if they actually all came together,” Deeney said. “That’s what this is showing me. I’ve had a lot of messages of support from people that I wouldn’t normally — well, that I didn’t even know had my number for a start.”

“But certainly from players from bigger clubs and that shows me that I must be doing something right because I’m just a little old Troy from Watford and everyone seems to listen to what I say.”

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