The fallout from the latest EFL statement

We take a look at the headline news following the latest EFL Statement, arguably the most clear-cut statement released to date.

The statement, which was released on Thursday lunchtime, reiterates the EFL’s primary aim of completing the season behind closed doors.

However, the key point in the statement shows perhaps their acceptance this won’t be the case with now only 51 per cent of the votes needed to bring an end to the current campaign.

If the season is ended, which now looks incredibly likely, the table will be decided by an unweighted points per game basis.

That would end Town’s slim hopes of an automatic return to the Championship, who would slip to 11th place if the season is cancelled.

That would see Coventry promoted as champions with Rotherham joining the Sky Blues in the Championship. Wycombe, Oxford, Portsmouth and Fleetwood would then battle it out in the play-offs for the remaining promotion place.

The news will be extremely disappointing for Peterborough and Sunderland fans. The Posh, who currently sit in sixth position, were one of the form teams in the division and would fancy their chances of remaining at least in the top six for the remainder of the season.

Sunderland, who missed out on promotion in last season’s play-off final against Charlton, will be set for a third stay in the third tier of English football, another team who will be leapfrogged by Wycombe Wanderers.

In terms of relegation, Bolton, Southend and Tranmere will be relegated to League Two.

Tranmere currently sit three points behind AFC Wimbledon, with a game in hand, who sit just above the dreaded red line.

The draft proposal must still be discussed and then submitted formally with a vote set to take place next week.

The EFL statement:

The various proposals and counter proposals received from Clubs have been reviewed and, as a result, the Board has finalised the draft framework that would be adopted into EFL Regulations, in the event that a division is to make the decision to curtail its season as League Two indicated last Friday.  

Clubs are now required to give the matter further consideration, before the Board formally proposes the appropriate Regulation changes, which will then be voted on by all Clubs.  

The recommended framework is as follows:  

1. Resuming the 2019/20 season with the existing format remains the most appropriate course of action from a sporting integrity perspective, but the Board accepts there are circumstances that may lead to curtailment (as has been demonstrated with League Two) or a situation subsequently transpires whereby the season is unable to conclude.   

2. This means that, in the event of an early curtailment:   

a. Final divisional placings should be determined on unweighted points per game (if required).

b. Promotion and relegation should be retained. 

c. Play-Offs should be played in all circumstances but should not be extended (beyond four teams).   

3. If a scenario arises whereby the Play-Offs cannot be played, the EFL Board will determine the appropriate course of action. 

4. The Board considers that the majority required to curtail the 2019/20 season in any division should be 51%. Determining whether or not to curtail the season is a decision for each division to take.   

5. The principle of relegation across all three divisions is integral to the integrity of the pyramid, from the Premier League down to the National League, provided we have assurances that the National League will start season 2020/21 (i.e. the relegated Club in League Two has somewhere to play).  

6. Any regulatory solution should be relevant and specific to the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and reach a conclusion that is clear and effective with the impact and justifications easy for all stakeholders to understand.  

EFL Chair, Rick Parry, said:  “In the event that a divisional decision is made to curtail the 2019/20 season, the EFL Board is recommending that the League adopts the original framework with the amendments as identified, as there is a strong desire to remain as faithful as possible to the Regulations and ensure there is consistency in the approach adopted across the EFL in all divisions.  

“The Board has always acknowledged that a single solution to satisfy all Clubs would always be hard to find, but we are at the point now where strong, definitive action is need for the good of the League and its members.”