Leeds United have kept a very dignified silence as the Premier League and the EFL battle to decide how to conclude the 19/20 seasons, despite possibly having more skin in the game than anyone.
Other sides in the Premier League haven’t been so honourable and Leeds chief Angus Kinnear finally broke his silence on them in his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Two Premier League clubs broke ranks and confirmed their plans to try to avoid relegation on Sky Sports last week.
Kinnear dismantled both of them brilliantly in his column, along with the prior bid to vote against Project Restart – confirmed by Aston Villa’s CEO Christian Purslow – if it meant playing in neutral venues.
The first was Norwich’s sporting director Stuart Webber, who said specifically that Leeds and West Brom should be blocked from being promoted if the Championship couldn’t finish.
Brighton striker Glenn Murray echoed his view later on in the week when he said Leeds didn’t deserve to be promoted if the Championship wasn’t completed.
Writing in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Kinnear said, “It seems likely that any return to play will be done against a media backdrop of clubs continuing to publicly champion obstacles to the league’s completion and, if it can’t be concluded, why leagues should be expunged [or relegation and promotion abandoned] as opposed to be decided on sporting merit.
“To date, this has included trying to set the brilliantly audacious precedent that Premier League teams shouldn’t have to play matches if they don’t think they can win them and the equally Machiavellian suggestion that a team could refuse to be relegated if they believe that the promoted team is not deserving of being their replacement.
“However Greg Clarke, chairman of the FA, provided important clarity to the debate when he stated that the FA would use their golden share in the Premier League to protect the core promotion and relegation principle of the English football pyramid.”
Leeds have every excuse to have been on Sky Sports themselves, threatening legal action if they’re not promoted.
Instead, they’ve maintained their dignity and class, and these comments from Kinnear are superb.
Without getting drawn into a debate, Kinnear points out the ridiculousness of the arguments coming from the Premier League clubs, before pointing to the views of the FA.
We’re sure that there will be more twists and turns before this season is decided.
However, for once, Leeds United and the governing bodies are on the same page and fighting the same battle.
That’s got to be a big relief for Leeds fans, although until everything is confirmed, it’s still a worrying time.
In other Leeds United news, EFL ‘heading for a war’ after losing vote that could have major impact on Leeds promotion