Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear says 'vital' for EFL, Premier League seasons to be concluded
Sky Sports News exclusive as Elland Road chief calls for 'patience and cool heads'; EFL meeting on Wednesday
Last Updated: 17/03/20 9:30am
Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear says it is "vital" for the EFL and Premier League seasons to be played to their conclusion in order to maintain "the integrity of the football pyramid".
The Premier League and EFL have been forced to postpone all fixtures until April 4 and 3 respectively at the earliest due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
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An EFL meeting is due to be held on Wednesday to discuss its plans for the Championship, League One and League Two.
Officials from all 20 Premier League clubs will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to establish plans for the remainder of the season, with one senior source at a Premier League club telling Sky Sports News there is a 75 per cent chance this campaign will not be completed.
That would be a blow to Leeds, who lead the Championship table by a point from West Bromwich Albion with nine games remaining, but Kinnear believes there is a growing consensus that finishing the 2019/20 season is the best course of action.
"From our perspective, we think it is vital that it is completed," Kinnear told Sky Sports News. "I think there is a growing sense across the football family that that is the right thing to do.
"It is difficult to speculate on timelines and now is the time for patience and cool heads. I think for the integrity of the football pyramid and the financial security of the clubs, finishing the league is the right thing to do.
"You have already seen La Liga and Serie A come out and say they want the leagues completed and they want Euro 2020 suspended so that they can do that. I think that is probably the right decision."
Kinnear says Leeds' preference remains to play their games in front of supporters and stressed the importance of the needs of clubs outside the Premier League and the Championship, who depend more on gate receipts than TV revenue for their financial well-being.
"If it is the choice between not finishing the league and playing behind closed doors, we would like to play behind closed doors but ultimately we really think we owe it to our fans, and fans across the country, to complete the league," Kinnear said.
"That would be the ideal but it needs to be in a situation where it is safe to do so. From a fan perspective I think it would be the right decision to try and play the games with supporters there.
"Obviously from a financial perspective, it is going to make a huge difference to the clubs, particularly lower down the pyramid to receive that income which is their lifeblood."
The Premier League and EFL will hope to reach a consensus at their meetings later this week on the best way to proceed.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady raised the possibility of declaring the 2019/20 season null and void in a column for The Sun over the weekend.
This course of action is likely to suit some far more than others.
If disagreements do persist, two-thirds of the Premier League's clubs - 14 - are required to agree to any constitutional change.
But Kinnear is hopeful clubs will consider what is best for the integrity of the Premier League and EFL as a whole, rather than acting in their own interests.
"There is obviously a danger that self-interest will play a part but I have actually been refreshed by the fact that most of the football family are looking at safety and health and well-being first. That is the main priority," Kinnear said.
"I think if we focus on that, then try and maintain the integrity of the league by getting back to playing at some stage then that is probably the main priority."