Former Leeds United defender Stephen Warnock has rubbished calls from certain Premier League sides that relegation should be scrapped this season.
A recent report from The Sun suggested that a number of clubs towards the lower end of the top flight are increasingly willing to back a proposal that would see their season completed at a series of neutral venues, on the condition that they will not face the threat of dropping down to the second tier.
But Warnock has been quick to voice his concerns over the prospect of relegation being scrapped.
Speaking on the Football Ramble Daily podcast, he said: “I don’t actually agree with that with the no relegation, if I’m being honest, cause if you look at the teams in the Championship, and you’re thinking of Leeds, West Brom, Fulham, the teams in and around the play-off places, the financial gains for them to go up are incredible.
“These teams have worked so tirelessly, so hard throughout not just this season now, it’s work that’s been going on for a number of seasons, especially when you’re looking at Leeds.
“So when you’re talking about the integrity and the honesty of the leagues, we need relegation and we need promotion as well.
“If I was a Leeds player, I’d be furious, because they, as well as West Brom and Fulham, have all worked so, so hard and you want to pick a trophy up at the end of it or you want to be promoted.”
Warnock isn’t the only voice to have expressed his disdain for the idea of allowing the Premier League to conclude without sides being relegated, however.
EFL chairman Rick Parry has stated that he still expects there to be three sides promoted and three relegated at the end of the season – whenever that may be – and has claimed that there will be “very messy” legal action enacted if the Premier League blocks promotion from the second tier.
Thankfully, it appears that broadcast partners are also dead set against relegation being scrapped, with fears that the move could lead to a number of dead rubber matches played in empty stadiums that could potentially lower supporter interest in their product.
Ultimately, taking into consideration all of the opposition on the table, it would be ridiculous for the Premier League to give teams a free pass to retaining their top flight status next season without them having earned it.
The inverse of that is that it would be equally ludicrous for them to deny Leeds and other Championship sides the opportunity to be promoted when they have worked so hard for it.
Hopefully the relevant governing bodies see sense on this and ensure that relegation is still enforced.
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