MOT View: Joey Barton absolutely right to accuse PL clubs of 'opportunism'
Leeds United appear to have found a new ally in their battle for promotion in Joey Barton.
The outspoken ex-midfielder, now manager of Fleetwood Town, has insisted that English governing bodies must do all they can to finish the current footballing season before moving onto the 2020/21 campaign – even if that means completing matches in six months’ time.
The former Manchester City player made his comments in response to Watford striker Troy Deeney‘s claim that he would rather go “broke” than put his family at risk by playing matches if he did not feel it safe to do so.
But Barton has dismissed his stance as one of self-interest, with the Hornets currently 17th in the Premier League and out clear of the relegation zone by goal difference alone.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, he said: “Opportunism, can’t hold it against them.
“In my opinion, whether it’s in the next 6 weeks or 6 months away, we pick up where it was left.
“Finish our seasons for the integrity of our competitions.
“Competitors don’t want to be given anything, they want to earn it.”
Opportunism, can’t hold it against them.
In my opinion, whether it’s in the next 6 weeks or 6 months away, we pick up where it was left.
Finish our seasons for the integrity of our competitions.
Competitors don’t want to be given anything, they want to earn it. https://t.co/K9HIXRKQvs
— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) May 15, 2020
And you would have to say that he is absolutely right.
It seems a little coincidental that the sides who are pushing hardest for normal practices to be disrupted are the ones who have the most to lose by the season being completed.
In recent days we have seen both Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber and Brighton striker Glenn Murray argue that promotion should be blocked from the Championship if the season cannot be finished properly.
And now we have Deeney dragging his heels over a restart too.
The forward expresses concerns over putting his family at risk, and those worries are very probably genuine, but at some point we have to acknowledge that football has to come back.
The alternative is for authorities to wait until a vaccine is available, and that could be another 18 months away.
The government have set a date of June 1st for professional sport to return, and footballers would arguably be working in a much safer environment than a lot of other people, with full testing and an outdoor workspace.
Provided authorities still deem it safe for players to participate by the time that date arrives, we have to try and get things back on track.
In other Leeds United news, MP opens door for Leeds to attain what they have been so vocal about in recent weeks.