Leeds journalist Phil Hay pokes holes at Sky Sports


Leeds United are perfectly placed at the moment to achieve promotion.

The Whites are sitting pretty at the top of the table and barring any catastrophe, will be in the Premier League next season.

Marcelo Bielsa's job with this squad of players has been nothing short of exceptional, but few will need reminding what happened last season.

The Whites crumbled in 2018/19 but with this the final year in Bielsa's contract, it really feels like now or never in terms of reaching the top-flight.

They have the players, fitness and tactics to do so, but whether they have the mentality is another question.

That is the one lingering issue after the end to last term, but if they evade memories over 12 months ago, they should find themselves playing against the best teams in the country on a regular basis again.

Of course, promotion would also bring Leeds greater TV revenue. The Yorkshire club are no stranger to playing on Sky Sports and they could earn even more income from those in charge of the television rights.

Sky Sports

However, that isn't necessarily good news given the fractious relationship between Sky Sports and the club's supporters.

They have been particularly unkind to Leeds in the back half of the season with their scheduling, and that's something Phil Hay has picked up on.

Speaking about the broadcaster in his latest Q&A for The Athletic, he said:

“I spoke to psychologist Gary Bloom before the Stoke game and he thinks it does [have a big impact on playing after rivals]. He thinks it’s an advantage for Brentford to play first when they’re the team chasing.

"Personally I don’t think it’s right that Sky can create a schedule which has Leeds playing four times after the side who are coming for them in the last five matches. Don’t get me wrong, it’s their prerogative to pick live games but it does create an imbalance.”


GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

It's difficult to work out whether Sky Sports are truly in the wrong here.

As Hay suggests, it's their prerogative but for the chasing team to always be playing first is a bit strange. 

For Leeds, who often play later in the day or weekend, it provides an added dose of pressure.


Bielsa often has everything sorted down to the last detail but after last season, the player's mentality will surely be fragile still.

Thus, getting them to play when they know everyone's results could have an adverse effect.

On the other hand, it could be seen as a positive - they'll know exactly what they need to do in order to either leapfrog their direct rivals, or create further ground between them.

Either way, if Leeds do end up achieving promotion, it won't be because of Sky Sports.

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