The EFL released a major statement on Thursday that simultaneously made the position around the Championship restarting clearer and yet somehow even more murky for Leeds United.
The EFL wants to play out the remaining 108 games in the Championship but has said that if it’s not possible it would be decided on unweighted points-per-game.
That would make Leeds champions.
However, despite that seemingly being the most certain route for Leeds to get promoted, it’s not.
Ending the season early could open the league to legal claims and some Premier League clubs are already moving to get promotion blocked if that’s the case.
Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth has said that “Leeds’ desire remains to play the games.”
He added that the club is “fully aware of the risks [playing a few, losing, sudden need to curtail, etc] but their stance all along has been wanting to play for promotion and earn it outright, with no asterisk.”
Smyth also pointed out that these are the EFL’s recommendations that will need to be voted on by clubs.
Leeds' desire remains to play the games. Fully aware of the risks [playing a few, losing, sudden need to curtail etc] but their stance all along has been wanting to play for promotion and earn it outright, with no asterix.
Preparations ongoing for potential return to training https://t.co/yBOGBujxHZ
— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) May 21, 2020
Glory – and a healthy dose of realism
Doesn’t it make you proud to be a Leeds’ fan?
However, beyond the brilliant sporting stance of wanting to play out the season on the pitch, there is a reality that as well as getting rid of the asterisk, it’s the only certain way for Leeds to go up.
If the season was ended early, Leeds would be champions – that much is beyond doubt.
But Leeds aren’t bothered about the title. The real prize in the Championship is promotion – and that’s worth anywhere from £100m-£170m depending on which report you read.
And there are people beyond those directly affected, like Stuart Webber at Norwich, who believe that it would be unfair to relegate teams if the Championship isn’t played out.
Even MOT Leeds News columnist Paul Robinson, and he’s a big Leeds fan.
We think the legal issues would be a nightmare for Leeds if the season is ended early and we desperately hope the fixtures are completed – at least enough for Leeds to be mathematically up.
The good thing as far as the Championship is concerned is that there are plenty of teams that are still in with a shout of making the play-offs.
In other Leeds United news, ‘My understanding’ – talkSPORT journalist makes big claim about Championship ending early