The EFL have recently announced that the Championship will get back underway on the weekend of the 20th June, as they look to conclude this year’s league campaign.
It means that Leeds United will be able to finish their season on the pitch, as they target a long-awaited promotion back into the Premier League under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa.
However, fans won’t be in attendance for the final nine matches of the season, with the off-the-field situation still not resolved in the UK.
The Times have recently reported that Leeds could be forced to play their home matches at neutral venues as they’re considered ‘high risk’ in terms of supporters potentially arriving at Elland Road, despite not being able to get into the stadium.
Speaking on the Not the Top 20 podcast, The Athletic’s Phil Hay revealed that Leeds will be willing to pay whatever is needed to have their remaining home matches played at Elland Road.
“It’s possible, although I know Leeds will lobby to keep games at Elland Road and they will pay whatever is needed in terms of a police bill.
“I’m sure they will also campaign pretty strongly to remind fans not to come to games, not to create potential security issues at grounds.
“There is a difference in the Championship to the Premier League. You’ve got two teams who could still win the title, numerous clubs who could get in the top six and nothing is settled at the bottom.”
Hay went on to express his thoughts on the potential of matches being played at neutral venues, and claimed that it would be ‘wrong’ to single Leeds out over the matter.
“The problem with neutral venues is deciding the games that should be moved and those that shouldn’t, and I’m not just talking security but integrity.
“If game ‘x’ is moved then surely game y would have to be moved to make it fair. To single out Leeds winning promotion as the only fixture that needs to be played at a neutral venue is wrong and I’m sure they would contest that.”
Can you score full marks on this higher or lower Leeds United quiz?
I don’t think it’s much of an advantage in the current situation.
There is no doubting that when Elland Road is at its vocal best, then there is little stopping Leeds United.
The club’s supporters are amongst the best in English football, and they would have been keen to play their part in helping the team edge closer to a long-awaited promotion back into the Premier League.
But given the off-the-field uncertainties at this moment in time, it’s understandable that fans aren’t permitted to be present for the final nine matches of the season.
It’ll be interesting to see how Bielsa’s side cope without any fans in the stadium, but I’m sure the Argentine will have his squad well-drilled on how to cope without supporters being in attendance.