Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughClubs "deserve" to be exactly where they are - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Clubs "deserve" to be exactly where they are - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Clubs “deserve” to be exactly where they are

Perhaps it all comes from being a fan of a supposedly ‘smaller’ club and the associated mentality, but it really hacks me off when pundits and commentators talk about how some clubs “should” be in the Premier League.

The phrase tends to be used on days like tonight when clubs such as Leeds host top-flight opposition to bring a stark reminder of the glory days.

Inevitably, pundits like one-man self-parody Alan Green on Five Live tootle along to the games, gaps in knowledge about the current state of affairs about the club in question filled with nostalgia and, perhaps in attempt to curry favour with home fans, talking about how the club ‘deserves’ to be in the top flight.

Reasons for this are usually based on the arguments that the club’s rich history, stadium or passionate fans is reason enough for the club in question to be in the Premier League.

It is a boring old cliché with an equally as boring and tired response that football is played on the pitch and a club is in the league pyramid where it deserves to be based on results that even themselves out over a period of time.

Increasingly in this, the added factor of how a club conducts itself financially over a period of time is also important.

This is the reason why the likes of Wigan and Stoke are in the Premier League and Leeds aren’t as the former have lived largely within their means and the latter didn’t.

The living beyond their means is as bigger part of Leeds’ history than the success of Don Revie’s side in the 1970s so why just pick out one piece of history to stake a claim that the club “deserves to be in the Premier League”?

This may all sound like smaller club bleating, but I am also equally as sure some fans of so-called ‘bigger’ clubs get rather annoyed about it too.

If I were a Leeds fan for example, I’d be pretty sick and tired of pundits going on about how my club ‘should’ be in the Premier League.

It is a different kind of patronising as it assumes that all fans want to be in the Premier League which isn’t strictly true.

The Holy Grail of the Premier League is something of a myth. Yes, promotion is the target but it’s often the journey rather than the destination that is most enjoyable. I’m sure many Leeds fans rather (somewhat privately) enjoyed their trips to Carlisle and Bournemouth a few years ago.

All in all, the “deserve” to be somewhere line is becoming cliched and tired these days and needs to be put to bed as it something that benefits no-one, condescends most and is a reserve line for lazy punditry.