On today’s Soccer Saturday, Jeff Stelling and Matt Le Tissier discussed an ongoing problem in the EFL that is threatening to derail Leeds United’s bid for promotion.
The issue is what happens with promotion and relegation, with Premier League sides Brighton and Norwich already confirming a plot to block Leeds from coming up if the Championship season isn’t finished.
That view would be given a lot of weight if any of the leagues in the EFL blocked relegation – something that League Two clubs voted for last week.
A report in the Sun said League Two clubs had voted 20-4 in favour of no relegation and that the EFL was “heading for a war” over the issue.
Talking on Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports, 3pm), Stelling said the “EFL has to take control” and Le Tissier agreed saying it showed a “complete lack of leadership”.
“You heard yesterday that League Two has voted to end their season,” said Stelling.
“There will be promotion for three sides, there will be play-offs, but there won’t be relegation if they get their way.
“Yet in League One half a dozen teams just outside the play-off places are pushing for the season to be finished.
“It strikes me that there’s no coordination, surely the EFL has to take control and ensure that what happens in League Two happens in League One and the Championship?
“If League Two say they want the top three to go up, then surely the decision is made for League One to have three come down?”
Le Tissier agreed saying, “You’re right, it’s a complete lack of leadership skills [from the EFL]. They seem more intent on criticising the Premier League and what they’re doing.”
Things are never straightforward when it comes to Leeds United but this season takes the biscuit.
With nine games remaining and Leeds seven points clear of third, the club is on the brink of promotion but no one knows if this season will even finish on the pitch.
And if it doesn’t there’s going to be a big battle between Leeds, the EFL and Premier League sides who will push for no promotion from the Championship.
We’re not entirely convinced that this is the EFL showing a lack of leadership, though.
Rick Parry has been strong and decisive so far. The League Two vote isn’t binding, it’s just a view and you can’t stop clubs from expressing themselves.
This isn’t the time to make snap decisions the EFL could regret and we’re happy for them to take this matter into next week.
The EFL’s position has been clear – there will be promotion and relegation from the leagues, and they’re expecting three teams to go up from the Championship and come down from the Premier League.
However, this is an issue that needs clarification and we’re hoping the EFL can make a statement next week.
In other Leeds United news, Sky journalist: This is what a PL club owner has told me about Leeds being handed promotion