FA's relegation message to Premier League clubs is music to Leeds United ears
The FA have reportedly told Premier League clubs that scrapping relegation is not an option, which will be music to Leeds United ears.
Both the Independent and Times are reporting that the governing body's chairman Greg Clarke has told a meeting of top flight clubs today that the season must be decided on sporting merit, taking the 'null and void' option out of the equation.
Times journalist Martin Ziegler says the FA will not sanction the removal of relegation as an option.
There have been, in recent days, suggestions that a number of lower table Premier League clubs would agree to play fixtures at neutral venues if relegation was taken off the table.
It will all come as good news for Championship leaders Leeds United, whose preference is to play the remaining nine games of the season in order to battle for a place in next season's Premier League.
If games are not to take place, Leeds would hope be handed promotion based on the merit of their results so far this season.
Football Data Analyst Mark Taylor, part of the InfoGol team, has investigated potential models for deciding tables based on results and data and believes Leeds will almost certainly celebrate promotion if mathematical equations and not football matches conclude the 2019/20 campaign.
"The good news for Leeds is that under every scenario I have looked at they almost always go up either as Champions or runner up," he said.
The EFL's chairman Rick Parry told a Commons Select Committee last week that his expectation is that relegation from the Premier League and promotion for Championship clubs will take place, predicting a legal 'mess' in any other eventuality.
Today the government released new guidelines suggesting that sporting events could take place from June 1, behind closed doors, and Leeds players are still working towards a potential return to Thorp Arch for May 16, but even if squads do resume training this weekend, fixtures are not expected to take place as early as the start of next month.