Phil Hay has said that the “Championship as a whole” has accepted that it would be very hard to dispute the top-two spots in the league – meaning Leeds United and West Brom should be handed promotion if the season isn’t finished.
Leeds and West Brom are clear of the pack, with the Whites sitting one point ahead of West Brom, who are six points above Fulham in third.
There are nine games remaining in the season.
Writing on the Athletic website, Hay said that Leeds had a three-point plan when the Coronavirus outbreak hit, in order of preference.
The first is to finish the season in front of fans. The second is to play the remaining fixtures behind closed doors. Finally, Leeds would look to be handed promotion based on sporting merit.
He added, “Both Leeds and West Bromwich Albion have a very strong hand and The Athletic understands the Championship as a whole accepts that the automatic promotion places as they are — Leeds in first with West Brom close behind in second — would be difficult to challenge.
“The play-off places are where arguments will be had. By any realistic model or metric, Leeds and West Brom ought to finish as the top two. Fulham, in third, are six points further back after 37 games and since every side has played the same number of fixtures, no PPG calculation would be necessary.
“Were the EFL to base the final table on the division as it stood after 23 matches (the point at which every side had played each other once), the top two is virtually identical. West Brom would take the title, but in a scenario where promotion is the priority not silverware, neither they nor Leeds are likely to squabble about that.”
We’re no nearer knowing how the 19/20 season is going to be concluded. However, one thing we do know is that today was supposed to be the final game of the season.
Leeds should already have secured promotion. But, if they hadn’t then it would all be on a win today against Charlton.
As Leeds fans, it’s very hard to comprehend just what’s happened since the season was suspended back in March.
Leeds are still continuing as if the season is going to re-start in June. Hay has said that Bielsa is single-mindedly working towards the dates currently set – resumption of group training on May 16 and games starting in June.
All eyes will be on the government next Thursday. That’s the day when they could ease restrictions on lockdown which would give the go-ahead for serious thoughts about playing games behind closed doors.
The good news if things go the other way, is that the Championship seem united on sending Leeds up regardless.
In other Leeds United news – Reliable journalist: EFL likely to end leagues ‘soon’; plan to promote Leeds & West Brom dead