MOT View: Allardyce has got it all wrong after 'ridiculous' claim that affects Leeds
Sam Allardyce has said there’s no difference between playing at home or in a neutral venue if there are no fans but we think he’s got this one badly wrong.
Leeds United and Liverpool have been lumped together as “high risk” according to a report in the Daily Mail.
The report claims both teams could be forced to play at neutral venues, with a fear that fans will congregate for title-winning games.
Liverpool are almost guaranteed to win the Premier League, with a 25-point lead over Man City.
Leeds are a very short price to secure promotion (1/66 with leading bookies) and have a blockbuster game against Fulham coming up at Elland Road.
Both sides are keen to play games in their own stadiums but Allardyce has claimed it makes no difference where you play if there are no fans.
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“I think it [teams complaining] is absolutely ridiculous,” Allardyce said on Friday’s talkSPORT Breakfast (8am).
“What is the difference playing at home in front of an empty stadium and playing in a neutral ground?
“We’re in this position and there’s a decision that has to be made, so people need to stop going around disagreeing with everything.”
Where to start with this one?
The lack of fans obviously has a big impact, especially somewhere as loud as Elland Road, but the Leeds players know the home pitch inside out.
It’s in absolutely pristine condition and Leeds would definitely have an edge, no matter how small, playing at home.
How about sporting integrity? If Leeds are forced to play at a neutral venue while their rivals can play at home, we’ll be at a disadvantage.
Then there’s the symbolism of winning promotion at Elland Road.
Allardyce is right about one thing. There has been too much moaning from some clubs looking to save their own skins and block relegation from the top flight.
However, with the majority of teams set to play home and away, it’s important that the Premier League and the EFL show consistency.
If everyone was forced to play at neutral venues then we wouldn’t have as big a problem.
However, Leeds and Liverpool can’t be singled out.
That could be down to the fans. The LUFC Trust posted a video to start their campaign to keep fans away from Elland Road and we desperately hope that all supporters listen.
It’s important that we all #StayAway from Elland Road as we go into these vital remaining games. #RespectOurNorman#ProtectPromotion pic.twitter.com/VEPkoRiEYM
— LUFC Trust (@lufctrust) June 13, 2020
In other Leeds United news, Sky Sports pundit: This is what every pundit is saying about Leeds ahead of clash v Cardiff