'There would be uproar... you have to void the season' - pundits, owners weigh in as Leeds United's promotion charge is halted by coronavirus

Football in England has been postponed until April 3 at the earliest due to the outbreak of coronavirus

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 14th March 2020, 4:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 14th March 2020, 4:52 pm

Leeds United's charge for promotion to the Premier League has been halted amid the ongoing global health crisis.

The Whites sit top of the Championship with nine games of the season remaining but domestic football has been suspended at least until early April due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Pundits and owners have already weighed in on what it could mean for the rest of the campaign, with play unlikely to continue as planned next month.

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Leeds United's promotion charge has been halted. (Image: Bruce Rollinson)

Here's what some have had to say:

Karen Brady - West Ham

"There is no dodging the possibility that all levels in the EFL as well as the Premier League will have to be cancelled and this season declared null and void because if the players can't play the games can't go ahead."

"The Premier League hopes that an interlude of three weeks from now will enable it to restart but that may well be dreamland."

Darragh MacAnthony - Peterborough United

“We still have highly paid athletes that need to be kept finely tuned and they need to be training. They cannot sit at home, particularly if legally they are allowed to go out to work.

“So we need to have a plan in place, possibly including another pre-season build-up to when the games start again.

“I know everyone is ‘oh cancel the season’. We need to calm down on that. We are a long way from that. We need a period of calmness. The season has to be finished for the integrity of our Sport and the game

"Once this abates and hopefully it will in the month’s to come we have nine or 10 games left in all the leagues. It can be done even if we have to delay next season and push it further down the line. That’s the only solution.

"Cancelling leagues, promotions, relegation's is just not feasible because when this virus passes and normal life resumes that will just be a lot of lawsuits."

Jermaine Jenas - pundit

"It’s impossible to please everybody, so it has to be a country by country situation. If you went club by club in the Premier League right now, only 50% would be happy if it was to finish right now.

"Liverpool would miss out on the league and Sheffield United and Wolves would not be able to play in the Champions League."

Mark Palios - Tranmere Rovers

"We're in unprecedented times. Everybody is trying to do the best they can.

"Financially, having to re-lay a pitch because it's costly... practically we need 12 weeks to reconstruct a pitch. You have to think of contingency plans - can we play games we were going to play at home away from home?

"Everybody in the game and sports fans want to see the competition completed. I think moving back Euro 2020 by a year would be a good thing to do.

"We've given our players a week off. Our sports scientists have devised specific programs for players if they are quarantined.

"Each match will cost us £35,000 plus the money from the food and beverage."

Dion Dublin - pundit

"There'd be uproar if you didn't finish. You have to finish the season."

Tim Cahill - pundit

"They need to think about delaying it and focusing on the leagues - forget about all cup competitions.

"Forget about international games. Make sure you finish the season, whether it's Liverpool winning the league or teams getting promoted and relegated.

"The delay is the most logical situation."

Gary Neville - pundit

"Nothing can be ruled out at this stage. It’s unprecedented!"

Jamie Carragher - pundit

"You can’t start next season until this one finishes when ever that is. No title winners? Who goes in the Champions League next season?

"Leeds, West Brom and plus one miss out on Premier League. Three clubs in the Premier stay up!"

Peter Ridsdale - former Leeds owner

"I can’t speak for Leeds United but obviously it’s 16 years since they’ve been in the top flight and I would’ve thought, sitting where they are in the table, they would wish to be promoted.

"I’m sure if that opportunity was given to them they would take it.

"But for the good of football and for everybody, what we have to do is to make sure that if we can, we complete the season and then the league table at the end should be the one that determines who gets promoted and who gets relegated."