All eyes in Leeds are on the Premier League at the moment, with relegation from the top-flight a huge step towards Leeds getting promoted.
As well as that, the EFL is likely to take its lead from the Premier League, who have a key restart meeting set for Monday, just one day after it’s hoped the government will relax lockdown conditions in the UK.
That could pave the way for the Premier League to set a definite restart date, which would be a massive step forward for Leeds on this torturous promotion trail.
However, Athletic journalist Phil Hay relayed news on Tuesday night that could put a spanner in the works.
Hay called the accompanying report from former BBC journalist David Ornstein a “major story” and the header – “Club medics tell Premier League return isn’t safe” – doesn’t make great reading for Leeds fans.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) May 5, 2020
Everyone connected with the game has sad that safety is paramount but the Ornstein report states that the Premier League Doctors Group (PLDG) has sent an email to the Premier League with “around 100 questions and issues over returning to training”.
Ornstein picked up on some of the major points that medics want addressing before being satisfied that players can safely return to training.
They include, “approving guidelines that still carry risk of death”, “possible transmission via sweat and goalkeeper gloves” and “suspicions that some clubs are already ignoring guidelines”.
It also asked who was liable if anything happened to a player, the doctor or the Premier League?
The one bright spot in a pretty bleak story came at the end when Ornstein said the Premier League had contacted him and said they were committed to answering every point on the email.
Threat to promotion for Leeds?
Let’s break this down.
If the Premier League doesn’t get the green light next Monday, its ability to finish the season by UEFA’s deadline – the start of August – will be in doubt.
If the Premier League concedes it’s not safe to continue, we can’t see any way the Championship will plough ahead with a possible restart.
We actually think it’s more important the Premier League completes now for Leeds United.
The Guardian has already reported that the Championship has a contingency to promote Leeds and West Brom if they can’t get the rest of the fixtures done.
There’s far more doubt surrounding the Premier League with relegation a big sticking point.
Aston Villa are currently in the bottom three but have a game in hand and the bottom six are reportedly already actively lobbying to get relegation taken off the table.
If that happens promotion could be in doubt, with an expanded league likely to be very unpopular.
Hopefully, the questions and issues in the email from medics can be addressed satisfactorily.
The Bundesliga is showing the way at the moment and 10 positive tests haven’t derailed their plans.
No restart is going to be 100% safe and from the Germany model it looks like there will be positive tests along the way.
The big question is what appetite the UK government, the Premier League, EFL and the public have for some casualties.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Impossible’ – Alan Shearer delivers dire warning to Leeds fans after major setback reported