Promoted because of COVID? Leeds hit back at pundit
Leeds United’s Raphinha, second left, scores his side’s fifth goal during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United at the Hawthorns stadium, West Bromwich, England, Tuesday, Dec., 29, 2020. [Shaun Botteril/Pool via AP]

Leeds United Chairman Andrea Radrizzani has hit out at former England women’s international Karen Carney after she suggested that last season’s COVID-19 shutdown helped them win promotion to the Premier League.

Carney, speaking in her role as a pundit for Amazon Prime during Leeds’ 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, said they ran the risk of losing steam at the end of the campaign because of their high-tempo style.

“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?” said Carney, who earned 144 England caps between 2005-2019.

“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.”

Promoted because of COVID? Leeds hit back at pundit
Leeds United’s Jack Harrison celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Leeds United at the Hawthorns stadium, West Bromwich, England, Tuesday, Dec., 29, 2020. [Dave Rogers/Pool via AP]

The 2019-20 Championship season resumed in June after a three-month hiatus due to the pandemic and Leeds went on to win with a tally of 93 points.

In response to her comments, Leeds tweeted: “Promoted because of COVID. Won the league by 10 points.”

Radrizzani also said on Twitter the comment was “completely unnecessary and disrespectful to our club”.

Leeds, 11th on 23 points from 16 games, take on Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. 

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