Noises from a high level meeting of football bosses on Friday could be good news for West Ham United but not Leeds United.
According to reports the Premier League, EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association held a meeting on Friday to discuss the growing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the season.
West Ham and Leeds had been having very different seasons before the enforced break.
Football has been shut down until April 30th at the earliest due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That put a sudden halt to West Ham’s battle against relegation. It also put the brakes on Leeds United’s bid to return to the Premier League after 15 years away.
Growing uncertainty for over football season
But there is growing uncertainty over what will happen to West Ham and Leeds and the season as a whole.
Karren Brady was widely criticised for writing in The Sun that the season should be “null and void”.
But Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear – a former West Ham employee – insists the season must be completed (Sky Sports) to be fair on his club.
Both West Ham and Leeds have been accused of self-interest.
Lockdown measures are in place for the foreseeable future. And that makes the resumption of football – or indeed any sport – any time soon highly unlikely.
‘Difficult decisions’ looming after high level meeting
And in their meeting on Friday, football bosses have conceded they are faced with some ‘difficult decisions’.
It is the biggest hint yet that the season could be cancelled and ruled null and void.
“The Premier League, EFL and PFA met today and discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in a joint statement.
“The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions.
“Further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans.”
Good news for West Ham, potentially devastating for Leeds
An anonymous senior Premier League figure told The Athletic this week that there is a growing appetite among his contemporaries to abandon the season on moral grounds.
All football below the National League level was expunged this week (Independent).
That in itself could have promotion and relegation repercussions all the way up the football pyramid.
Should a similar decision be taken at the top levels, West Ham would be saved from the threat of relegation.
But Leeds would miss out on promotion too.
The meetings announced for next week sound ominous. They could be decisive for West Ham, Leeds and a host of other clubs with plenty still to play for.