Luton Town Chief Executive Gary Sweet has been discussing the possibility of cutting the Championship season short, with public safety continuing to take priority over world football.
A ball hasn’t been kicked in the Championship since the first weekend in March, with the EFL season yet to receive a resume date as a number of clubs kick their heels awaiting news.
For Sweet, the Luton Chief Executive, he feels that from an ‘ethical’ point of view it’s probably right to cancel the season – as has been done outside the Football League, in the Eredivisie and National League.
Sweet confirmed that as a club Luton didn’t want to play games if it means the NHS would be put at risk, pointing to going behind closed doors. The Luton figure then went on to throw his weight behind the Championship continuing, even if the third and fourth-tiers do not.
Speaking on The Price of Football Podcast, Sweet said: “I have written to the Football League to make my point on that, actually as a club we really do not want to play games, we don’t want to take part in the remainder of the season unless we’ve got some form of comfort that we’re not taking testing kits away from the NHS, we’re not putting a further burden on the NHS by playing games behind closed doors.
“If we’ve got some element of comfort on that, particularly if we’re playing at Kenilworth Road then I see no reason why we can’t continue – the show must go on.
“The further down the pyramid you go there’s more of an argument to say the season could and should be cancelled. I haven’t taken part in those League One or League Two debates but I would probably err on the side of cancellation. I think I flip over to let’s keep the show on the road in the Championship as long as we possibly can as long as those safety issues have been dealt with.”
For Luton, if, or when, the season resumes, they are looking to avoid an instant relegation back into League One; the Hatters sit 23rd in the table, six points adrift of 21st with nine games remaining.
At the other end of the division, Leeds United and West Brom are on the cusp of securing Premier League returns, with the pair seven and six points clear of third placed Fulham, respectively.
Quiz: Can you identify these 30 EFL Championship players by looking at these pixelated images?
There’s so much to weigh up when you consider football’s return: public safety must remain a priority, but given the money at stake, particularly in the Championship, there’s a need to get things finished.
Sweet appears to accept that, even if he does somewhat push for assurances and tease he’d like to see the season brought to an end.
A lot of what clubs push for will, ultimately, come down to their position in the table. For Luton, if the season was cancelled, they secure Championship football for another year.
What about Leeds and West Brom, though? The pair wouldn’t be happy seeing Premier League football snatched away in this fashion.
Thoughts? Let us know!