Leeds United board slammed by Simon Jordan in first-time promotion prediction amid 'confusion' and 'mess' verdicts
Leeds United can bounce straight back into the Premier League at the first attempt if they are relegated says Simon Jordan, as long as they sort out the “mess” in their boardroom.
The Whites have a mountain to climb on the final weekend, needing a win against Tottenham coupled with favourable results at Everton and Leicester, to avoid their top flight stay ending at three seasons.
However, Andrea Radrizzani has been busy attempting to buy Sampdoria at a time when the plan for his sale to the 49ers remains unresolved if the club is in the Championship [Phil Hay, 26 May], after a season of chaos at Elland Road, and ex-Crystal Palace chairman Jordan believes the “confusion” at the top is the biggest barrier to a return to the top table in 12 months time.
“Judgement day of course almost upon us for Everton, Leicester and Leeds,” said Jim White, live on talkSPORT on Friday (26 May), “let me throw this at you Simon… will any of those three clubs be away for long if and when they drop down? Whoever drops down, will they come straight back up?”
Jordan replied: “I think the two teams that are going to go down are Leicester and Leeds, specifically Leeds. I think there is no reason, if they can clear up the confusion and the mess that’s in their boardroom about decision-making, that they won’t bounce back, and I think the same, most likely, of Leicester.
“So the answer to your question is it makes it a dull day in the Championship, because you’re going to find two of the three sides in my view [coming back].
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“Southampton might be slightly more challenged because I’m not entirely inspired by the decision-making process of the new manager they’re putting in, [so they] might be one of the three that doesn’t come back up again.
“The answer to your question is, yes I think they can bounce back, both of these sides. Whoever goes down, including Everton.”
It isn’t always the case but it’s hard to argue with Jordan on this, because for all it hasn’t helped this season the squad looks relatively well stocked with saleable assets to cushion the blow of relegation, and younger options left behind to tackle the Championship.
Getting a manager in who can shape the side properly is easier said than done, with the boardroom dynamics largely responsible for making a mess of that move multiple times this year.
If Radrizzani is moving on then it is better that it happens sooner rather than later, so unless he and 49ers Enterprises have worked out an agreement for a sale after relegation that’s been kept very quiet it would be better for him to focusing on that than Sampdoria for the immediate future.
If the owner, the manager, the director of football, and a fair amount of the squad needs sorting this summer then losing ground on rivals is going to be a bad first step towards attempting an immediate return to the top flight.
It is somewhat of a relief that relegation shouldn’t be as damaging as the last time, and on paper perhaps shouldn’t lead to such a long absence.
But all the advantage could quickly be thrown away if the top of the club isn’t sorted, and all of the subsequent levels worked on soon after.
The door is still ajar for Leeds United to avoid a large portion of the upheaval by making an unlikely escape on Sunday (28 May), but assuming that is impossible there is some optimism of a successful reset.
They are going to get to act fast to give it a chance of happening though, amid a highly uncertain end to the current campaign.
In other Leeds United news, a European super club is now lurking with intent over the possible signing of a highly-rated Whites talent.