Image source: Canaries.co.uk
Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber claims, Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion must earn Premier League promotion on the pitch. There have been speculation, that Championship clubs could be awarded a place in the next season’s Premier League if the EFL halt the season due to coronavirus pandemic.
Leeds United are leading the EFL table, while West Brom are second and they are six points clear of third-placed Fulham. Nine fixtures of the 2019/20 season remaining.
Norwich, on the other hand, are on the verge of relegation as they are only six points clear of relegation zone.
There has suggestions of relegation being abandoned as top-flight chiefs fighting to get playback underway. But Webber will have no complaints if Norwich fail to push to safety as long as the Championship campaign is also completed.
When asked by Gary Neville if Norwich were keeping hopes of avoiding relegation, Webber said: “In my opinion, it needs to be settled on the pitch, not off the pitch. The big question we have around restarting is it’s fine if we restart and three teams get relegated. We look at it as we’re only six points off 16th rather than being adrift. If we do that, that’s fine because that’s were it should be played, football should be played on the pitch not the boardroom.
“But the Championship has to restart and play all their games also. What we could not accept is a situation where we play out all our games and get relegated but the Championship can’t play, because we don’t even know if the Government is going to let them play, and then they automatically promote some teams who haven’t finished the season.
“Anyone who has been promoted from the Championship [knows it] is a 46 or 49-game slog. It’s a bit like saying the FA Cup finishes now, we’re in the quarter-finals, we’ve beaten a Championship top-six team away, we’ve beaten two Premier League teams away, does that mean we win the FA Cup, we qualify for Europe and we all get a medal? I know two of you in the studio – one of you has won it as a player and one as a manager – I’m pretty sure you’d think that devalues the FA Cup and I think that’s a really important sporting point.
“It needs to be settled on the pitch, both coming up and going down. We accept that. We run our club as if we’re going to finish 20th in the league, that’s how we budget because we have to, they’re the rules we’re playing with. If we get relegated on the pitch, it’s not nice, but it’s also not a major surprise.”
Webber was also asked, whether his comments mean that Norwich should stay in the Premier League while Leeds and West Brom remain in the Championship if the season does not resume, Webber replied: “Yeah, that would be my honest opinion.”
“I know in the non-league they’ve said there’s no promotion or relegation so I don’t know how you can change the rules.”
Webber also revealed he used to be Leeds fan: “I had a season ticket for 10 years! Leeds should be getting promoted, we all want Leeds back in the Premier League but you have to do it on the pitch.”