Premier League Game Week 38, the day of reckoning. To all intents and purposes, Leeds United’s relegation looks inevitable, a formality.

On Sunday my beloved club faces up to the prospect of finally being taken off Premier League life-support. It will be read its top-flight last rites, putting long-suffering fans out of their misery.

I really can’t see how even the most powerful football gods can contrive to breathe new Premier League life into my club’s nostrils. Our condition looks terminal, our survival bid on a hiding to nothing. It looks every inch a mission impossible.

If you can’t make it to the game, Leeds United fans will gather around a live stream if television to watch our fate. I’m in Hornsea with a few friends to watch the final game of the season, and I’ve asked for their predictions…

Dan William, Barnsley fan. “I think Leeds will be playing the Tykes in the Championship.”
Daniel Molner, Man U fan. “Survival, Not going to happen! “
Andy Redman, Leeds Fan. “Fingers and Toes crossed.”
Rob Arnold, Leeds Fan. Unavailable for comment.
Mark Stafford, Leeds fan. “Hope we do but United forever!”
Julie Stafford, Leeds fan. “Not going to happen.”

Pressed on all sides

The situation going into the final day is quite bleak. We can’t dress it up. Not even the most eternal optimistic among us believes we have a realistic chance of escaping the drop on Sunday. But if by some miracle we survived it would be arguably the most audacious and mind-bending Houdini-esque act in the history of the Premier League.

Déjà vu? We have been here before, but with some significant differences. At least last season, needing to win on the final day to stay up, we had matters in our own hands. This time around our agency may not be adequate. We need huge favours and results to go against rivals who are just as determined and better placed than us to preserve their own Premier League statuses.

Tottenham will arrive at Elland Road with a better chance of securing a Europa Conference League berth than we have of staving off relegation. Those competing agendas do not bode well for our chances of keeping our end of the bargain; winning and earning the right to give ourselves a chance to survive in the unlikely event both Everton and Leicester slip up.

So, every way you look at it, the odds are heavily stacked against us. Even if we did the needful and beat Tottenham, there would still be two other hurdles to jump. A win over Spurs would be rendered inconsequential if Everton or Leicester win their respective matches against erstwhile relegation rivals Bournemouth and West Ham.

Everton in pole position

The final safe spot is Everton’s to lose. If Sean Dyche’s men beat Bournemouth they will preserve their Premier League status. That’s the clarity of the task they face on Sunday. Their fate is in their own hands.

By contrast, Leeds United and Leicester City’s fates hinge on permutations, mathematical chances and hope of capitalising on the misfortunes of rivals.

Leicester City have right of first refusal to the safe berth should the Toffees come unstuck against the Cherries. And if the Foxes spurn the opportunity to capitalise then Leeds United come into the reckoning.

All three relegation candidates will be fighting for their Premier League lives in front of their home fans. So there will be no shortage of vocal support to spur the players on.

Come the final whistle on Sunday Goodison Park, King Power Stadium and Elland Road will all experience contrasting emotions. There will be a deluge of tears and joy unbridled.

What a ride

Whatever happens on Sunday, Leeds United’s latest Premier League odyssey has been quite the roller-coaster ride with head-spinning and stomach-turning ups and downs.

To an extent, the fans have embraced the nature of their club; thrilling chaos, excitement and exasperation, a club where fire and ice coexist and agony and ecstasy are different sides of the same coin. That’s the Leeds United way.

Our fate is out of our hands. It’s the final day worst case scenario every Leeds United fan dreaded.

Barring an incredible turn of events we will be bidding farewell to the Premier League on Sunday.

Oh well… at least we took our battle for survival to the last day of the season, again.

Leeds United, how do I love thee!


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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