Will Leeds United care that their title-lifting party included the footnote of a relegation for former favourite Lee Bowyer?
Not likely. The Charlton boss said he did not expect any favours from the club where he spent seven years as a player, and he did not get any.
But how cruel it was that Bowyer only learnt of his side’s fate right on full-time following Barnsley’s late winner at Brentford. Until then, he thought they were safe.
What an achievement that would have been given the club’s off-field problems, from a chaotic ownership struggle to a transfer embargo and their top goalscorer refusing to play.
‘At times I’ve felt this was the impossible job,’ said Bowyer. ‘You can only cut corners for so long. But I love the club. I’ve been loyal and I gave my all to the end.’
A draw would have been enough to keep them up, but that was never likely against Marcelo Bielsa’s Premier League-bound champions, who were again irresistible as they finished their campaign with a sixth straight victory.
The club’s hierarchy used the matchday programme to reiterate their ‘revelry’ in not being ‘universally loved’. There is one problem with that – everyone loves Bielsa. Perhaps it is time to re-hire Steve Evans?
They are a feisty bunch here – evidenced by chief executive Angus Kinnear declaring, ‘We are not d***ing around with the play-offs anymore’ – and they were again at their intimidatory best in the posh seats, even in the presence of the Football League top brass. Not that EFL chairman Ricky Parry is their concern beyond Wednesday night’s presentation of the Championship trophy.
And so the suits celebrated with gusto amid what was another ruthless display from Bielsa’s team.
Leeds want to re-sign Brighton loanee Ben White next season, so the manner of the centre back’s first goal for the club – a belting volley from 20 yards – was hardly helpful in keeping his blossoming talent on the quiet.
Stuart Dallas from close range, a Tyler Roberts header and Jamie Shackleton’s tidy finish completed the scoring before the players joined the thousands of fans partying outside of Elland Road.
There were very few sparing a thought for Bowyer.