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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Incomplete season would be a 'national embarrassment': Leeds chief

Reuters , Friday 22 May 2020
FILE PHOTO: Leeds United v Swansea City - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - August 31, 2019  General vie
FILE PHOTO: Leeds United v Swansea City - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - August 31, 2019 General view outside the stadium before the match (Reuters)
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Failure to conclude the Premier League and second-tier Championship seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic would be considered a "national embarrassment", Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear has said.

Professional soccer has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak but the Premier League plans to restart the season next month while the Championship will vote next week to decide on how to end their season.

The German Bundesliga resumed last weekend without fans in attendance while other top European leagues are planning to restart their campaigns and Kinnear said it was time English leagues came up with solutions.

"England had some of the finest sports scientists and football administrators in the game and the time has come for us as a sport to stop repeatedly framing the challenges and start delivering on the solution," Kinnear wrote in the Yorkshire Evening Post .

"It would be a national embarrassment if the Bundesliga, La Liga or Serie A were to be able to complete safely and the first and fifth biggest leagues in the world were not able to follow suit if the context remained comparable."

Premier League clubs started training sessions with small groups this week with a view of a possible return to normal 'contact' training next week.

Leeds are top of the Championship standings after 71 games and would be guaranteed promotion if the final table is decided by an unweighted points-per-game formula. However, Kinnear insisted they want to finish the campaign.

"If Leeds United wanted to be opportunist we could have seized on this 'point-per-game' commitment to push for an early curtailment in concert with some already very vocal self-interests," Kinnear said.

"However, our intention has always been to do all we can to complete this season where we started it – on the pitch."

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