Chris Sutton has argued that the only way the 2019/20 season can be properly resolved at this point is by bringing it to an end now – but Leeds United fans shouldn’t despair.
The former Blackburn Rovers striker has called for authorities to see sense and to finish the season on a points per game basis, instead of trying to find a way to play any remaining fixtures.
That approach would see the Whites promoted, with Sutton also calling for the Premier League to enforce relegations too.
The pundit’s comments come after several relegation-threatened top flight sides opposed the prospect of completing the season at a series of neutral venues unless they were assured of their Premier League status for next term.
But Sutton has rightly argued that those clubs would be compromising the sporting integrity of the footballing pyramid if their demands are met.
Speaking to the Daily Mail about the prospect of relegation being scrapped, he said: “Ludicrous. Any clubs who will only play if the threat of relegation is removed are in the wrong.
“Does this not prove that, to them, it is more about money and what they have to lose than wanting to play to lift morale or for sporting integrity? I say again: ludicrous.
“For me, calling the season now and deciding it on points per game is the way to go. I’d love to see football return safely but there doesn’t seem to be a hope in hell of starting in the next few months.”
Thankfully, it would appear that any proposal to scrap relegation will be met with fierce opposition from the broadcasting industry, with senior figures arguing that it could amount to a breach of TV contracts by turning many remaining matches into meaningless dead rubbers.
Similarly, EFL chairman Rick Parry told a DCMS select committee on Tuesday that the expectation is still for three sides to be relegated, and crucially, three to be promoted.
And alongside mounting pressure from respected ex-professionals such as Sutton – whose views were backed up Martin Keown and Jamie Redknapp – the hope will be that the Premier League does not cave in to a minority of clubs who are blatantly acting out of pure self-interest.
It does increasingly feel, however, as if the relevant authorities will do the right thing, and that one way or another, we will have our shot at Premier League football next season.
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: £595m EFL deal was bad for Whites, now it could leave club with big financial hole.