Leeds United have hit back at Amazon Prime pundit Karen Carney after she claimed that they only got promoted to the English Premier League at the end of last season because of the coronavirus.
The Elland Road outfit returned to the top-flight for the first time since 2004 after winning the 2019-20 English Championship campaign, and Carney insists that the pandemic-enforced break helped them get over the line.
Leeds came close to sealing promotion in 2018-19, starting the campaign on an impressive note in what was head coach Marcelo Bielsa’s first season in charge.
However, the Yorkshire giants ran out of steam and failed to advance in the play-offs, with many blaming the Argentine’s demanding style of play for the club’s inability to sustain their promotion bid at the end of the season.
Leeds learnt their lessons and managed themselves better last term, finishing on 93 points – ten ahead of nearest rivals West Bromwich Albion.
They won their last five games before lockdown came in without conceding once, and they have continued to play with the same verve since returning to the top-flight.
The Amazon Prime pundit watched Leeds dismantle the Baggies last night, but she isn’t convinced that they can maintain the energy till the end of the season.
“They outrun everyone and credit to them. My only concern would be, will they blow up at the end of the season like the last couple of seasons?,”Carney asked following Leeds’ 5-0 victory over West Brom.
“I actually think they got promoted because of Covid in terms of it giving them a bit of respite.
“I don’t know if they’d have got up if they didn’t have that break.”
Leeds weren’t having any of it, immediately taking to Twitter to react thus:
— Leeds United (@LUFC) December 29, 2020
The club owner and chairman Andrea Radrizzani took responsibility for the post, taking to Twitter to defend his side.
I take the responsibility of the Club tweet. I consider that comment completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our Club and particularly to the fantastic hard work of our players and coaches whom were understanding on the pitch for the last two championship seasons by all stats
— Andrea Radrizzani (@andrearadri) December 29, 2020
Carney’s comments won’t be overlooked by Leeds fans, and the club’s former centre-back Rio Ferdinand has leaped to her defence, urging the club to delete the post.
Agree… delete tweet!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) December 29, 2020