There have been calls for the ‘big six’ to be banned from the Premier League after they announced their involvement in a proposed breakaway European Super League – but what would the table look like without them?
Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham were among 12 clubs – with three each from Spain and Italy – to announce their intention on Sunday to join a new competition.
Here, the PA news agency looks at this season’s Premier League with those clubs’ matches removed.
The most eye-catching beneficiaries of the big six’s absence would be West Ham, who would be on the verge of the title.
David Moyes’ side are in the top four in the genuine table but would be aiming even higher in this scenario.
Should Leicester drop points against West Brom or Crystal Palace, the Hammers – whose game against Chelsea this coming Saturday would disappear from the schedule in this scenario – could be confirmed as champions of a hypothetical Premier League without the ‘big six’ either before their next game or by beating Burnley on May 1.
Leeds riding high
Leeds would climb to third and would be one of only three teams still mathematically in title contention, a point behind Leicester.
Victory over Manchester City last time out was their first against a member of the ‘big six’, meaning Marcelo Bielsa’s side would lose only six points from their total.
They and Aston Villa would leapfrog Everton, who climb only from eighth to fifth in this exercise, missing out on wins over Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal and four points against Liverpool.
Little change at the bottom
The Premier League’s bottom three look set for relegation, with Fulham’s five-match winless run likely to see them join West Brom and already-relegated Sheffield United in next season’s Championship.
There is little solace to be found in this scenario – Scott Parker’s side would be a point closer to the teams ahead of them but with only three games to play rather than five.
United would not be mathematically down yet, but would need every result to go their way with a 23-goal swing, while the Baggies would be nine points adrift of safety with 15 to play for.
The change happens among the teams ahead of them, with Newcastle and Southampton jumping clear – the Magpies would actually be in the top half, losing only three points – while Wolves would sit ninth of 14.