Leeds United have been handed a late Premier League boost after confirmation that fans will be allowed to return to Elland Road for the final game of the season against West Brom.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side haven’t been able to welcome their supporters for the club’s return to the top-flight after 16 years away, but Boris Johnson’s announcement that up to 10,000 fans will be permitted at outdoor sports venues from May 17 has opened the door for that to finally happen.
And, in response to the news, former Leeds goalkeeper Paddy Kenny admitted that it would be a major boost for the club to have their fans back inside the stadium, and that it will be “even harder” for visiting teams.
He said: “This record against these very top teams is without any fans being there for the full season. I can only imagine with fans being there it will be even harder for these teams coming to face Leeds.
“In the Premier League, with a full crowd, it would be absolutely frightening for an away player. Every club could say they will have a boost. But Elland Road when it’s rocking is a really, really special place to be.”
As Kenny says, when Elland Road is rocking, there’s not many stadiums up and down the country that can better the kind of atmosphere that gets built up.
While 10,000 fans is hardly going to have the stadium filled to the rafters, it’s certainly more than enough to make a major impact on proceedings, especially when you consider players have gone months without really playing in front of anybody at all.
Bielsa and the club’s fans have built a really close relationship since the Argentine became manager a few seasons ago, so he will be absolutely buzzing to have some of them back and witnessing their first Premier League game in the flesh since well over a decade.