Leeds boss kicks against fans returning to stadiums

Marcelo Bielsa made headlines in 2018-19 for sending a member of his Leeds staff to Derby's Moor Farm training ground to report on his training routine.

Marcelo Bielsa has demanded that Premier League bosses block fans returning to the grounds until all 20 top-level clubs can reopen their turnstiles.

Under Covid’s new tier system, half of the Premier League clubs will still be unable to have a following as of Wednesday, while the other ten may have 2,000.

Leeds is at Level 3 and has to keep fans locked out, with boss Bielsa saying: “If fans aren’t allowed in every stadium, then they shouldn’t be allowed until everyone can.

Clubs shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences of being in a category. An effort should be made to keep competition as fair as possible. “

Arsenal will become the first Prem team to welcome fans since March, when they host Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday.

While West Ham’s Prem clash with Manchester United next Saturday will be the first high-level match with fans since the Covid lockdown.

Bielsa believes the system will warp the league and mean an uneven playing field weighted in favor of those teams, in London, Merseyside and on the South Coast, which can have crowds.

He added: “The presence of fans has an effect on the result.

“The places with the highest risk of infection will be sanctioned, but they should not be sanctioned for that.”

Bielsa’s assessment was backed up by Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, whose fans must also stay home.

Bruce said, “Being on Level 3 is a kick. It will give the Liverpool and London clubs an advantage ”.

But Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson sees no advantage.

He said: “I honestly don’t think the 2,000 fans are going to create enough trouble to upset the away team.”

Prem’s bosses declined to respond directly to Bielsa’s comments.

But a spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work on a roadmap for pilot events that can help clubs scale to greater capacities.”

Get more stories like this at Twitter

Leave a Comment