Millwall winger Jed Wallace has made his feelings clear on some of the prospective ideas regarding how to finish the Championship season, citing Leeds United twice in conversation with News at Den.
English football has ground to a standstill until at least 30 April due to the global health crisis, and speculation has been raging over how to see out the 2019-20 campaign.
Some of the options up for debate include rendering the season null and void, declaring it finished as things stand, and seeing the remaining fixtures out, either behind closed doors or once it’s safer to do so.
Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds and Slaven Bilic’s West Brom are currently first and second in the Championship table, while Wallace’s Millwall lie just two points off sixth with nine games left.
Wallace feels that too much has gone into the campaign, for too many sides, for the season to simply be written off.
“This season has to finish, in my opinion,” said Wallace. “It’s absolutely not fair on the teams at the bottom and the teams like us. There are so many complicating factors.
“What happens if the season gets voided? Do teams like Cardiff get another year of [Premier League] parachute payments? If the season did end all the emotions that have gone through it – the atmosphere in the stadium when we beat Charlton, the atmosphere at Elland Road when Leeds beat us, staged a comeback – those moments then mean nothing. That’s what you play football for.
“My absolute worst scenario is the season is voided now. I would cancel all my holidays tomorrow, give up all my eight weeks off to get the season finished. That’s what I want to do.”
Even the prospect of the season being declared on the current number of games is not something Wallace wants to see.
“I’m sure there are certain clubs in the division thinking, ‘if the season ends now that’s great for us’. But if you do achieve something you want to do it the right way,” he added. “You want to be there after 46 games. If you’re down the bottom it’s not fair, and if you do go up you want to feel you’ve achieved something over the course of the whole season.
“Even though, in my opinion, Leeds and West Brom are the two best teams in the whole league, if they go up now people will be saying, ‘you didn’t do the whole season’.”
Given the unprecedented halt in proceedings due to an unprecedented health crisis, the number one priority is to keep people safe, but at the same time, the question of what to do with the various competitions needs to be resolved.
It’s a very contentious issue as every possible solution proposed has pros and cons which are bound to affect at least some clubs adversely, and so it’s not a decision that can be taken lightly.
The personal view of the TBR writer is to see the 2019-20 season out when it’s safe to do so, even if it has to be in the summer – it’s important that the campaign, and its permutations, can be fulfilled as intended.