Readers, it has been an awfully long time since I wrote on here. When there’s nothing new I can add to the club commentary I often elect to say nothing at all; after all, the world certainly doesn’t need more noise. This season has been an interesting one yet there’s been very little need for further opinion on the continued ridiculous situation that is Leeds United.
Especially given the COVID-19 crisis we currently find ourselves in, it seems bizarre to consider that we were relatively recently fretting about racism judgements towards Kiko. What sweet Summer children we were, ay? Whereas now we’re staring into the barrel of an uncertain gun, unsure whether we’ll get to complete the season at all.
Leeds United are currently top of the league with 9 games to go and the entire world has stopped. Pundits have been actively debating for weeks whether the season should simply end now, rendering Leeds Champions of the Championship and Liverpool Champions of the Premier League. Or whether we should acknowledge that we cannot complete the season in a timely manner and consider it a non-starter. Or should we simply allow the leagues to wrap whenever safe to do so, knowing it’ll impact the schedule for the following season(s)?
Ultimately, the only thing that is certain is that we cannot forgo the entire season. Huge amounts of investment have gone into the current campaign at all levels and to pretend it never began hurts so many and unduly rewards many others. To think that Leeds and Liverpool could finally have put together title-winning seasons only for it to be ripped away is one thing, especially considering Leeds would not only lose Bielsa but key players such as Phillips – this would destroy us for several years. Equally, clubs like Aston Villa would be rewarded with a second season of Premier League riches without having deserved it. This approach punishes everyone.
Equally, I don’t think you can settle on the current league standings being final either. It might be sensible for the Premier League where Liverpool look unreachable, but there are lots of contests still playing out. In League One there are only 8 points separating 1st and 8th places with 36 points still to play for. To consider the standings final at this stage would be an incredibly bitter pill to swallow.
It therefore seems sensible that next season is delayed indefinitely until the various leagues can completely finish their current seasons. It’s the only fair way to honour the time, effort and money that have been plumbed into the 30+ games to date. If that means that next season starts much, much later and we have congested fixture lists and delayed season starts for a few seasons, then so be it.
It’s important that those clubs that committed their hearts and souls into 30+ games get to see what happens. If that means you get relegated, that was a deserved outcome. If you get promoted, then congratulations. But ending it prematurely or pretending it never happened are both awful ideas in my eyes. Even if this means that Leeds have a fresh chance to mess things up, that’s the right outcome.
After all, we want promotion to be something we’ve earned, not something we were gifted by ending the season early. It might mean we balls it up at the end again, but having that opportunity is the correct outcome.