Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has admitted that he believes Leeds United could face a “big problem” if they do not secure promotion this season.
The Whites are currently enduring a tense wait to discover how the EFL plan to resolve the Championship campaign after it was brought to a halt by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
While it is understood that there is an appetite for any remaining fixtures to be played behind closed doors at neutral venues, as per The Athletic, EFL chairman Rick Parry‘s admission that all games would have to be completed by July 31st could prove to be a considerable obstacle.
In the event of the season being ended early, one of the potential outcomes is for the entire campaign to be declared null and void – a result that would deny the Whites a long-awaited return to the top flight.
And former Elland Road hitman Hasselbaink has claimed that should they miss out this term, Leeds may struggle to replicate their table-topping form next time around.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “I’ve followed Leeds very much this season and done a lot of games for them as well.
“Especially with what happened last year, when they just didn’t make it, if that happened again this year, I think it would be a big problem for the club and their sustainability.
“We know what is going on in the world, and safety is the most important thing, but I do feel that we need to try and finish all competitions because teams have worked so hard to put themselves in this position that they are in.
“It would be a big pity for Leeds and the fans if they couldn’t finish the season.”
Hasselbaink has hit the nail on the head here.
The biggest worry faced by everyone associated with Leeds right now is that we are denied a well-earned and long-awaited return to the Premier League.
It would be the cruelest twist of fate if the rug was pulled out from beneath us when we are closer than we have been since we dropped out of the top flight in 2004.
Perhaps the most pressing concern, however, is what missing out on promotion would mean for Marcelo Bielsa’s future at Elland Road.
As far back as early March, the Express were reporting that the Argentine could leave the Whites if we failed to make it out of the second tier.
Would he be willing to give the Championship a go for a third year running if promotion is blocked this season? There are no guarantees, and losing the 64-year-old would be a hammer blow for the club.
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: Gary Neville ‘blackmail’ accusation highlights ugly side of Leeds promotion debate.