We’re all acutely aware of just how nervy things are for Leeds United at the moment.
After spending over a decade and a half away from the Premier League, the Whites find themselves on the cusp of a long-awaited return, but are facing an obstacle that nobody could have foreseen at the beginning of the season.
The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted pretty much every aspect of day-to-day life as we know it, and professional football has been no exception.
The suspension of the season has left Leeds in a state of limbo, with no clear indication from either he EFL or the Premier League on how the campaign will be concluded.
EFL chairman Rick Parry maintains that it is his expectation that three sides will still go up, and The Athletic have reported that there is an appetite amongst Championship sides for games to be played behind closed doors, but as it stands, nothing is set in stone.
But amid all of the confusion, the words of former Elland Road striker Robbie Fowler will come as a source of some comfort to anxious fans.
Writing in a column for the Mirror, he said: “I think clubs have a wider duty to finish this season when it is safe, for several reasons.
“For the integrity of the competition, for sure – and, on that basis, I believe you must have teams promoted and relegated.
“On that subject, I don’t get the argument that playing behind closed doors or on neutral venues is unfair. To borrow a horrible phrase from politicians, ‘this is the new normal’.”
And it’s hard to disagree with him.
We’ve already heard from Tyler Roberts in recent days about how he and the rest of the dressing room are “desperately” waiting to get back onto the pitch to finish off their promotion battle.
As fans we are equally keen, provided the safety of players and staff can be assured.
Deciding promotion and relegation properly, rather than being handed it through a points per game algorithm, is obviously a much more preferable resolution for everybody involved, and with figures like Fowler – an ex-professional and a successful manager with Australian outfit Brisbane Roar in his own right – fighting for that outcome, it might just have a greater chance of happening.
Of course, the final decision rests with governing body bosses, not tabloid columnists, but having a variety of voices contributing reasonable, balanced arguments to a debate is never a bad thing.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Run away’, ‘Oh dear’ – These Leeds fans react to journalist update on Massimo Cellino.