'Promoted because of COVID'? - Leeds hits back at pundit

Former England women's international Karen Carney said she didn't know whether Leeds United could have earned a promotion to the Premier League if there had been no COVID-19 break.

Karen Carney

Former England women's international Karen Carney, speaking in her role as a pundit for Amazon Prime during Leeds' 5-0 win at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, said the side ran the risk of losing steam at the end of the campaign because of its high-tempo style.   -  Getty Images

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 the side 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 the team ran the risk of losing steam at the end of the campaign because of its 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.

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"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."

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, takes on Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

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