I can’t believe the mess that the Football League are making in League One.
Let me first put my cards on the table. I am a life long Leeds United supporter. Leeds at the moment have finally had their hour of appeal on the 15 point penalty they received for the way in which they came out of administration. I do, however, think that the way that the sale of the club which brought it out of its financial plight was strange and duplicitous and, consequently, I think they should have been penalised. I don’t know about the degree of the penalty (15 points) but it seems to me that there should have been some penalty.
I don’t understand, if the club were entitled to an appeal, why it took so long to hear. I don’t understand, beyond that. why now the appeal tribunal has seemingly come to a close that there seems no prospect of an announcement.
The outworking of this is that the Football League has announced today that Swansea who would be champions if Leeds do not win their appeal, will not be able to receive the trophy at their final home fixture. This is not because the FL are announcing that Leeds have won their appeal but rather because their solicitors have advised against the trophy being awarded to anyone.
Teams have played through the bulk of what will have been a 46 game season. At the moment because of this mess, teams do not know what they have to do to gain promotion, they do not know what they have to do to qualify for the playoffs.
This is meant to be a sport. It is meant to be a good experience for the supporters. It is meant to be something that is decided on the field and not in the courts. Leeds have created, by the mismanagement of their club, a situation which needs to be referred to the courts but that the Football League has allowed it to go to this point in the season and that they are then taking so much time to announce an outcome is ridiculous.
All of this provides another nail to be driven into the coffin of the credibility of this sport in the United Kingdom. We have an English Premiership in which only 4 teams can compete. We have a Scottish Premiership in which the only two teams that can compete seem to want to get out and join the great chase to see who finishes fifth in the English Premiership. Now, the old third division, where my team sadly have found themselves (a team who went 29 games undefeated in the old first division at their peak) have managed to concoct such a mess that no one can tell who will win, who will progress and who has what number of points.
I feel sorry for the likes of Swansea, Carlisle, Doncaster and the rest who are through no fault of their own being messed around by all of this.
How did it all come to this?
The way we were