Updated: EFL board to meet on Wednesday with clubs ‘probably’ voting on Friday
Peterborough director of football Barry Fry has confirmed that League One clubs will be meeting later this week to hopefully come to some decision on what will happen with the remainder of the season.
The meeting, which was originally thought to be happening on Monday, will be dominated by one topic, whether or not to conclude the season behind closed doors.
EFL chief Rick Parry wanted the 23 clubs to think over the weekend about their stance and resume on Monday, however Peterborough’s Barry Fry has confirmed the meeting will now take place on Wednesday.
The Posh director of football told the Peterborough Telegraph that League One clubs would not be asked to vote on any further scenarios until after an EFL board meeting scheduled for Wednesday.
“The League One season will not be declared null and void,” Fry stated.
“Promotions will be granted. There will be play-offs, but as yet the League One clubs can’t agree on the way forward.
“The EFL board are meeting on Wednesday. They will then present the possible scenarios to the clubs and we will then vote on them later in the week, probably on Friday.
“My fear is the EFL deciding League One should follow what League Two have done, but that would be wrong as Rick Parry has said the Championship, League One and League Two clubs can make their own decisions.
“I know the EFL want to promote Coventry and Rotherham (the current top two) and then have play-offs. I can just about see why Coventry would be allowed to go up, but promoting Rotherham would be wrong.
“They are only two points ahead of two teams and three points ahead of four other teams. Ourselves and Oxford have a better goal difference. Rotherham might go on and finish second if we played the season out, but equally they might finish eighth.
“Different play-off proposals have been made as well. Our chairman has suggested eight teams could be involved, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.
“Obviously a weighted points per game suits us if we can’t play on. It’s also a lot fairer than a straight points-per-game formula.
“One thing for sure is we won’t vote to try and scrap relegation like League Two clubs have. There is no sporting merit in that at all.”
We already know that six clubs, led by Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony are campaigning for the season to be finished, with Bristol Live that number is actually closer to 11 in support of playing the remaining games.
However, that number of 11, if true, would mean that the meeting will likely continue further into the week with 75 per cent (17 or more clubs) would represent a majority vote.
So, what do we know?
If the season is cancelled, the EFL will use the same method which is going to determine the League Two final standings, an unweighted points per game (PPG) table. On Friday, League Two clubs voted unanimously to curtail their campaign with the finalised table being decided on points per game with the play-offs set to take place at the end of June to determine the fourth team promoted to League One.
An EFL statement read: “In the event of a curtailment of the season, the EFL Board outlined how this could be addressed through a framework that includes maintaining the principle of promotion and relegation, league tables to be determined via unweighted points per game (PPG) and Play-Offs to remain in every division to determine the final promotion place.”
The unweighted PPG will see Coventry crowned champions with Rotherham joining them in the Championship next season. The play-offs would then be competed between Wycombe, Oxford, Portsmouth and Fleetwood. Sunderland and Peterborough would miss out on the end of season lottery and Town would finish in 11th place.
So, with that scenario sorted and explained, on the other side of the coin clubs could vote to play the remaining fixtures behind closed doors. This article is not going to look at the reasons why clubs are choosing to vote the way they are, we have covered that in previous articles, let’s look at the options suggested for completing the season.
The most obvious one would be to play all the remaining games behind closed doors, with the play-offs then being played at the end of the campaign with three teams getting relegated to League Two.
If clubs feel that strongly about not playing, two proposals which have been suggested is to either use the result from the reverse fixture or give the team who is willing to play an automatic 3-0 win. Sounds good? No, it doesn’t to me either!
The only over ‘viable’ option which could be discussed is MacAnthony’s extended play-off tournament. Teams finishing from third down to tenth would take part in an extended version of the end of season play-offs. How that table is decided would be up for suggested with Town currently sitting in tenth, but Gillingham poised to overtake if any PPG scenario is applied.
One thing is for certain, it appears the options are finally starting to become less and less as the days go on. Despite our differing opinion, I think we all share the same hope that an outcome is reached sooner rather than later.