Harry Redknapp insists even Leeds United promotion into enlarged Premier League would be unfair

HARRY REDKNAPP believes even promoting Leeds United and West Brom into a 22-team Premier League would be "unfair" if the remainder of the English football season is scrapped.
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The Premier League and EFL campaigns remain suspended amidst the country's ongoing battle against coronavirus with Championship front-runners Leeds having not played since the 2-0 win at home to Huddersfield Town on March 7.

The Premier League and EFL both hope to play all remaining fixtures when safe to do so though League Two clubs have already voted to end their season early.

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The decision now needs the ratification of the FA and EFL with the EFL set to decide divisions via an unweighted points per game model if remaining fixtures are cancelled.

STRONG VIEW: From Harry Redknapp. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images.STRONG VIEW: From Harry Redknapp. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
STRONG VIEW: From Harry Redknapp. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The EFL would still expect promotion and relegation if the remainder of the season was scrapped - including relegation from the Premier League.

Under the unweighted points per game model, Leeds would be promoted as Championship winners with West Brom going up in the second automatic promotion place.

But Redknapp feels it would be unfair to relegate sides from the Premier League based on points per game having previously himself masterminded a great escape at Portsmouth in 2006.

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Consequently, Redknapp has suggested promoting the Whites and Baggies into a bumper Premier League - but feels even that option is unfair on the chasing Championship pack.

Speaking on The Football Show on Sky Sports on Monday morning, Redknapp said: "I don't know what the answer is, it's so difficult.

"We all want to see Liverpool win the league, I think that is the driving thing for me. Liverpool have been incredible and they deserve to be crowned champions.

"And then you look at the teams coming up.

"The only option if they don't play I think would probably be to promote the two teams and next year maybe have five teams get relegated.

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"But even that's unfair really. Leeds this time last year were walking away with the Championship and blew up, so you can’t tell.

“They looked home and dry last season but they couldn’t finish the job last season.

"I’m sure this year they’ll do it, there's a good chance they will - and West Brom.

"But then Fulham and Brentford and the teams in behind them are going to be thinking 'hang on, we can go on a run, we are playing well, we might go and win five or six games on the spin, pick up good points and we might get in that top two.'

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"Whichever way you come up with an answer it's going to be a difficult one for certain people to be happy with that's for sure."

Assessing the picture of relegation from the Premier League, Redknapp said: "I can't see really how they can relegate any teams. If we don't start. I can't see how they can do points per game or whatever.

"For me that would be totally unfair because this is the time of the year when with nine or ten games to go, everything changes.

"It's like The Masters going round Amen Corner, suddenly that's when it all starts, those last nine or ten games.

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"It's the teams with the most nerve who can hold their nerve so to just do it on possible points I would think it would be impossible and it would be unfair to relegate any teams in the circumstances.

"We had ten games to go at Portsmouth and I promise you, you'd have written us off.

"If they had done points per game, we had 18 points from 28 games, they might have said 'they will get 25 points' when they worked it out, maximum probably 26 points but we ended up getting another 20 points and ended up with 38 points and finishing 17th.

"It can happen, it happens every year to teams.

"This is the time where you need a team that has got the nerve and the bottle to come through this last situation.

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"You are looking for strong players, with ten games to go, this is where the tough will get going.

"To just suddenly wipe it away and say 'we are going to go points per game', who can judge points per game? Who can pick football results?

"I enjoy watching Sky on Saturday with Jeff Stelling coming going through with the results and having a little bit of interest on Super Saturday and I can never get them right.

"Who can judge how football results are going to finish up?

Redknapp added: "We have all got different ideas and everybody who is involved will not be happy with the outcome at some stage, that's for sure.

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"The most important thing is the health problem and I understand players and know that everybody is looking at it, nobody wants to take a chance that they will take the virus or get it and take it back to their families.

"There's so many issues, I love a football game but at the moment it still seems a long, long way away to be truthful."