Good Morning. It's Tuesday 26th May, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Football fans face random ballots to watch matches next season
The Premier League’s chief medical officer Mark Gillett has warned football fans that matches will continue to be played behind closed doors until around the end of the year. In the New Year, the plan is to introduce fans back gradually in vastly reduced numbers. (It will be like watching a Match at the New Den!). Gillett says the public health situation is not going to change in the next six to 12 months’ - suggesting that matches will be played behind closed doors until at least November.
Let's hope Leeds are sensible and offer the 'golden' tickets to the season ticket holders and die hard Leeds fans first. We don't want to see a repeat of the mess they made with the limited edition Centenary shirt which was sold out in minutes, many of which made their way onto Ebay for ten times its face value!
Cooper - Squad is already 90 percent ready
Leeds Captain Liam Cooper has expressed his surprise about the high levels of fitness the players have maintained during lockdown. Although it's been ten long weeks since a competitive ball was kicked, the 28yo centre half insisted although it was like the first day back at school, the squad was raring to go! Captain Liam Cooper told the media, afterwards, many of the drills were what they were used to after nearly two years with the Argentine.
I didn’t see Marcelo, to be fair. We drive in, it’s a scattered entry, so every five minutes there will be a lad driving in and you can’t cross paths. In your protective equipment, with your face and all your stuff’s waiting for you in a bucket as you get there. They’re all cleaned, your GPS and your boots. If you need treatment you can go in the physio room. That’s limited to a man per person at the minute.
The physios are in their PPE. It was good. You have to stick to the social distancing in the full session. It’s a bit difficult for us sometimes because we watch a lot of stuff off the iPad, but the iPads weren’t out today. We know a lot of the drills now. We’ve been working with Marcelo and his staff for a good time now and we know a lot of the drills. There was no new ones today so it was pretty all smoothly. It was like that first day back at school.
It was surreal and a feeling I hope I never have to endure again because it’s been a difficult time, but one where you have a lot of time to reflect. I was quite surprised at the standard considering the lads haven’t been able to do technical work for a while. The delivery was good, the passing was good and the lads have come back in unbelievable shape.
The fitness coaches are surprised at how good a shape we’ve come back in. We’ve not stopped. All the lads have bought into it. We’re raring to go and in a good place to be able to start off with the tactical side as opposed to getting fitness again because we’ve maintained that throughout this period.
Barnsley will refuse relegation unless Championship duo are dealt with
Barnsley have sent a letter of complaint to the EFL making it clear that they will not accept relegation unless two of their Championship rivals have had FFP cases settled. The Tykes are upset that Sheffield Wednesday and Derby have not yet had their FFP cases settled regarding financial irregularities following the sale and subsequent purchase of their grounds for considerably more money.
Pending punishment of these two teams could very well effect the foot of the table. We saw Birmingham deducted 9 points (this time last season with eight games remaining) for breaching profitability and sustainability rules. Surely the fraudulent acts of the Wendies / Rams should have harsher consequences. Garry Monks team are 9 points from the drop zone whilst the Rams have a twelve point cushion. Barnsley were quoted as saying...
Our perspective has alarmed us to the fact that rule adherence and proper governance of violations is appallingly worse here in England than counterparts in France, Belgium and Switzerland.
A key element of La Liga’s large revenue growth in the last five years is its strict observance of relegation when rules are broken (including unpaid player wages, transfer fees, filing of timely financial statements, and unbalanced or unfunded budgets). How can anyone use the phrase ‘sporting integrity’ or the word ‘fair’ in any relegation scenario if the games aren’t played?
This is a scenario that will not be passively accepted. Two to three clubs pending punishments from EFL charges could change the current status of the Championship table.