Leeds United's wage deferral is at the heart of what the Elland Road club stands for - David Prutton

Yorkshire Evening Post columnist David Prutton pens his weekly thoughts

Saturday, 28th March 2020, 9:16 am
Leeds United players huddle at Elland Road. ([email protected] Bruce Rollinson)

It’s been great to see Leeds United’s players lead by example this week.

In these weird and unprecedented times we all accept football pales into insignificance but it does play a huge role in the lives of those who love the game.

I’ve been trying to keep in touch with those I work with and the general consensus is that we realise just how much we all miss football.

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A break such as this was never needed for me to realise what a fabulous game and job it is to work in. Every match I’ve ever covered I have skipped in and out of the studio because coming out of the sport in a professional manner you still want that adrenaline fix.

It’s pure joy and working in live television does at least give you that little buzz once again.

We’re missing it tremendously but, of course, I think we all understand it’s an absolute necessity from a health point of view that we currently press the pause button. You find yourself doing lots of little admin jobs just to fill the day and no doubt like many others find yourself homeschooling the little ones in your house.

There are occasions where suddenly you’re sat daydreaming about where we would’ve been at now in the season.

The games would’ve been coming thick and fast as we start approaching Easter before the play-offs would’ve been here like a flash as the weather turns heading into summer.

Looking back is great, nostalgia is lovely.

But ultimately you know the result. There’s no replacement for that morning of a game buzz and it’ll be great when that returns.

I’m sure once the game does make its long-awaited comeback we’ll all be filled with that sense of euphoria again – it will be some party.

Andrea Radrizzani came out and mentioned how much the lack of matchday revenue is costing Leeds at the moment and that is where you start to worry about the impact it could potentially have on livelihoods.

Not just at Leeds, but across the game too.

The focus has been on the footballers to take the lead and it reflects well on Leeds as a squad that they have deferred their wages with little fuss or fanfare.

It feels like a move which in its very essence is what Leeds United stands for; one in, all in.

Everyone is in this together at Elland Road – good times, bad times, great times and globally concerning times, which is exactly where we are right now.

It is something that will help those who aren’t decked out in all white carrying the hopes and dreams of supporters when it comes to three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.

It protects the people who are the bricks and mortar of the club – and that is vitally important.

For playing staff and the senior members to have done this is admirable.

I have no doubt it is a situation where middle ground will have been needed at some stage and across the game generally I think we’re going to see more situations like this arise.

Of course, the majority of footballers are aware of the privileged position they are in and in the short term it will affect them in some way.

But for others at the football club this break could make a more substantial impact on their lives and it is good to see that they’ve all looked at the bigger picture.

I think it’s a nod to the way they all respect everyone who is associated with Leeds United and the value they give them all.

Because there is little else to talk about at the moment the uncertainty over the season and how it may conclude seems to be taking up a lot of the discussion.

There’s no rule book for this and I have to say I am intrigued at how the authorities are going to deal with it all in the long run. I was surprised that the FA made a decision so early this week over leagues further down the pyramid in terms of voiding certain divisions.

In any outcome there are going to be people who disagree and many are going to be left unhappy.

What one club deems to be right, another won’t and it’s going to reflect down all of the divisions.

The current timeframe they’re putting on finishing the season at the moment does seem a little unrealistic but however this all ends the ramifications are going to be felt for years to come.

It’s hard to know where to stand with it all because we just don’t have enough control over the current health situation to make any educated guesses.

People are talking about the integrity of the game and how it must be upheld. In one way, I agree. In another, it is hard to know.

If you’re looking at it from a purely footballing point of view then that says to me you have to finish one season before you start another –whenever that may be.

But ultimately we are all being guided on a day-to-day basis by something that has no care at all for our sporting desires.