Don't you know pump it up, Someone’s going up!
12 May 2020 07:54 am, by YorkshireSquare
Much like being a Leeds fans the rest of the time, lockdown has been a bit of a rollercoaster concerning the future of our football club. Perched at the top of the Championship, we were playing a brand of exciting football under our talismanic Argentinian. We’d had our wobble and emerged the other side, as good as ever, five wins behind us, seven points clear of third place Fulham with only nine games left to play it seemed like promotion to the Premier League was our destiny. But along came Coronavirus and put the season on hold. At first there was hope the season could be resumed, that we would get back underway when safe to do so and earn our promotion on the field.
But then the bottom six clubs in the Premiership, with their own self-interest in mind, started to declare that they would only resume the season behind closed doors at neutral venues without supporters if relegation was taken off the table. You can’t blame them really, can you? Fighting for their own survival the likes of West Ham and Brighton will do what they can to protect their Premier League riches. The integrity of the competition seemed to lost as the Premier League sought to close ranks and protect itself. Could Leeds miss out on promotion? It seemed like an ever more real prospect as the days went on.
But for once the men in charge of the game in England seem to be on the side of Leeds United. Last week Football League Rick Parry told a House of Commons select committee that he expected promotion to and relegation from the Premier League to maintained. He was joined this week in his views by Football Association chairman Greg Clarke who told Monday's Premier League meeting that relegation must happen this season, even if the competition cannot be restarted. Clarke told those on Monday's video conference that the FA will not sanction no relegation or declaring the season null and void. This is significant for Leeds because constitutionally, such a change would require the consent of English football's governing body.
With the threat of the season being voided and no relegation taken off the table it looks as though promotion is still a real possibility for Leeds United however the season is concluded. The first situation is that the season is restarted sometime in June, possibly in neutral venues and definitely behind closed doors. Leeds United could be in pole position despite the six-week layoff due to their exemplary preparation and fitness levels. Leeds United’s head of medicine, Rob Price, revealed to Phil Hay that preparations started back in January with individual training plans developed for players to work on during lockdown with bundles of equipment purchased ready to ship to their homes so that fitness levels could be maintained in quarantine.
Is this kind of detailed preparation we have become used to under the current regime at Elland Road that could see Leeds United have a crucial advantage should the season restart? There is still a real possibility however that the season is not able to restart at all. In that situation a system taking into account ‘sporting merit’ may be used to decide upon the final league standings and Leeds United come out pretty well whatever system you use. If current standings or points per game are used then Leeds are champions. If you take the table at halfway or mirror the results for remaining fixtures then West Brom are champions, but Leeds go up as runners up.
So with the FA’s intervention it looks as though someone will definitely go up, let’s just hope it’s Leeds United!