Noel Whelan has backed a proposal that would see Leeds United and West Brom promoted into a 23-team Premier League if the season is cut short.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes clubs have earned the right to move up the divisions after playing the majority of their fixtures this term.

In a leaked recording obtained by the BBC, the possibility of a 23-club Premier League for next season has been discussed by officials and club representatives if the current campaign cannot be completed.

Football Insider have revealed that such a proposal is unlikely to get off the ground as it would require the backing of the majority of Premier League clubs, many of which would oppose adding more games to an already packed fixture list.

However, Whelan believes it should be taken into consideration, suggesting the likes of Leeds and West Brom have earned their right to promotion this term.

Whelan told Football Insider: “I think you’ve got take it as the season up to date, we’ve played three quarters of the season now and teams are where they are on merit.

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“It’s like Christmas, when you talk about getting to New Year’s Day, you know what you’re going to be fighting for and it’s no different now. Where you are is a reflection on how you’ve done this season.

“If it is cut short now and that is to be the case, I don’t think any team can really grumble.” 

Leeds currently sit one point ahead of West Brom at the top of the Championship after 37 of their 46 games this season.

Third-placed Fulham are a further six points behind, with Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston joining them in the play-off spots.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Newcastle’s takeover spells bad news for the Elland Road club.