Journalist details what PL rulebook states, plus what Leeds & WBA need to be awarded promotion
Leeds United and West Brom would need the backing of 14 Premier League clubs for them to be award promotion, according to Sun journalist Martin Lipton.
Not long after the season came to a halt due to coronavirus, a plan was mooted that involved Leeds and West Brom being handed automatic promotion into a 22-team Premier League.
If that happened, runaway leaders Liverpool would be awarded the top-flight title for the 2019/20 season while no clubs would suffer relegation.
However when the next season does take place, there will be five relegation spots so that the league can go back down to 20 teams and normality restored.
Of course, there was some opposition to that plan because while Liverpool deserve the title and Leeds United and West Brom deserve promotion, why don’t the bottom three Premier League teams currently deserve relegation? Why don’t Fulham, Brentford and Nottingham Forest deserve the chance to go up via the play-offs?
There is no easy solution to the issues that are currently plaguing English football but Sun journalist Lipton has suggested that it is possible for the plan to have a 22-team Premier League to go ahead if there are enough club that vote for it.
“UEFA say if you can’t complete the season but you can partially complete it, you should institute some sort of play-off system to try and get a sporting context to the season,” Lipton told talkSPORT on Wednesday, as shown via their official Twitter account.
“But whatever you do, somebody’s going to be disappointed, frustrated, upset and angry and almost certainly, somebody’s going to launch a legal case.
“In Holland, at the moment, they’re going to have no champions, no relegation, they’ve just decided to use the table to determine Europeans spots for next season but even that has led to potential legal disputes.
“You can’t, necessarily, just change the rules of the league. Look at the Premier League rulebook, it states that the champions are decided after 38 games are played. The rules also say that three teams will be relegated and promoted each season. But of course, that is only when the league is finished. If the league isn’t finished, does that still apply?
“There’s also talk from clubs saying ‘let’s expand the league to 22 clubs with no relegation, pull up Leeds and West Brom’. There’d have to be a vote by 14 of the clubs who agree to do that because the league rules state that it’s a league not exceeding 20 clubs.”
👨⚖️ “Whatever you do, someone’s going to launch a legal case.”
📖 “The PL rule book says champions are decided after 38 games.”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 29, 2020
The rulebook says a lot of things but it does not say anything about what should happen if the season is brought to a halt by a worldwide pandemic with only a handful of matches left to play.
New rules need to be made. Amendments to existing rules need to be made and common sense needs to be applied where applicable.
As we said, there is no easy solution to all this but there are solutions with varying degrees of fairness.
Finishing the season on the pitch is, without doubt, the fairest way.
In other Leeds United news, Simon Jordan has offered a damning view on Leeds’ promotion charge.