Norwich sporting director Stuart Webber has confirmed a report that broke on Tuesday that said clubs will try to block promotion for Leeds United if the Championship can’t complete its fixtures.
The story first broke in the Telegraph after the first plan, to reject playing in neutral venues, was seen off by the Premier League.
They are now seeking government advice on playing in home and away stadiums and that’s led to the bottom clubs hatching another plan.
They claim that promotion has to be won on the pitch and are obviously pinning their hopes on the Championship being unable to play the remaining games.
Talking on The Football Show (Tuesday, Sky Sports, 9am), Gary Neville put the following to Webber: “You’re adrift at the bottom of the Premier League by six points. There’s a high likelihood, have you got your head around that whether football returns or not, there’s a good chance Norwich will go down?”
Webber hit back and confirmed that they would try to block promotion and relegation unless both leagues played out.
“In my opinion, it needs to be settled on the pitch,” Webber said. “A big question we have around restarting is it’s fine if we restart and three teams get relegated… but we look at it that we’re only six points off 16th rather than being adrift.
“If we do that. That’s fine, football should be played on the pitch. But the Championship has to restart, it has to restart and play all their games. What we could not accept is that we play all our games, get relegated, but the Championship can’t play, and then they automatically promote some teams that haven’t finished the season.”
Neville asked, “Your position is if football doesn’t return, Norwich stay in the Premier League and Leeds and West Brom stay in the Championship?”
“Yes, that would be my honest opinion,” replied Webber. “In the non-league they’ve already said there’s no promotion and relegation. I don’t see how you can change the rules.”
Neville replied saying, “I suggest you steer clear of Leeds in the next few months.”
This confirms the report that we were hoping wasn’t true.
It hasn’t taken long for the bottom clubs to regroup and come up with a different defence for their top-flight status.
And, in an argument that we expect to see more of, they’re using the precedent of the FA cancelling promotion and relegation in the non-league.
Webber was shameless on Sky Sports. What’s worse is that he’s a Leeds fan, a season-ticket holder.
We agree with Neville here and Webber is perhaps lucky that he can’t try and support his team at Elland Road in the near future.
His views won’t make him very popular.
Norwich are six points adrift, have only won five games all season and will almost certainly be relegated if the Premier League plays out.
That’s all that Webber should concern himself with. Norwich knew the rules of the league when they started the season.
The bottom line is that they haven’t been good enough.
As Kevin Keegan once famously said, we would love it, love it, if Leeds United get promoted and Norwich go down now.
In other Leeds United news, Athletic report shares how Leeds feel about latest PL plan to block promotion from Championship