The League One clubs that were involved in Covid-19 testing hints at a looming conclusion to the 19/20 season…
On Sunday, the EFL released a new statement. It offered an update on Covid-19 testing across the three divisions which happened throughout last week:
”Following the first round of COVID-19 testing in League One, the EFL can confirm that 135 players and Club staff were tested from four League One Clubs over the course of Wednesday 3 June, Thursday 4 June, Friday 5 June and Saturday 6 June with zero individuals testing positive.”
Firstly, it is great news that there have been zero positive tests from League One so far. We have already seen encouraging results from the Premier League and the Championship. So it is good that this has continued into League One up to now.
However, the most newsworthy thing about this press release is how many teams took part in the testing. Unlike the top two divisions, where every team has taken part, there were only four sides involved in League One.
You have to say that this points towards an end to the League One season using the proposed PPG model. This would leave four teams to fight it out over the last available promotion place via the play-offs.
All common sense would assume this is the case. It is reassuring that it appears that we are now moving forward with the culmination of League One so we can finally look ahead to next season.
Of all the outcomes, it’s safe to say that the PPG model is the fairest of the lot. It has dragged on for a few more weeks than we would have wanted. This is thanks mainly to Peterborough and co, but it is good that we seem to be at the end of it now.
— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) June 7, 2020
I’m sure all Millers fans will be relieved to see this season’s end, at last, being agreed. We are still stuck in this pandemic, and we are not past it by any means.
The significant risk placed on the players and the long-term financial impact playing on would have on some clubs was too great to ignore.
Rotherham United are in a lucky position that they are quite stable financially. But most clubs in the league cannot say the same. Millers owner Tony Stewart has said himself that playing the remaining nine league games would lose the club around £750,000.
In League One, where the money is tight as it is, very few clubs could afford to lose this without being damaged massively in the long-term.
In the Premier League and Championship, this is a different story. There is a huge contrast in fortunes and all those sides are far better placed to cope in this scenario.
But in League One, this just was not possible and the risk of playing on was not worth the small reward. At the end of this, we are glad that Paul Warne and his team’s hard work should be resulting in a promotion.
The Millers and Coventry have been the best and most consistent sides all season. It is right that these two go up, as they earned their place in the top two over 35-plus games.
Not just that, but each team has shown a lot of class during the whole season, and especially in the past few months.
This is not how anyone wanted the season to end. But it is satisfying that in this roundabout way, the structure of the football league remains in place. The official vote with League One clubs takes place on Tuesday. So by the middle of this week, we should all know for sure what the outcome is.
This is perhaps the clearest indicator yet that the season is over. But whatever does happen with the vote, Warne and all his players can look back on this season with a lot of pride.
It has been another phenomenal campaign for the club. It has seen a true Rotherham United team do their supporters proud once again with their tireless work on the pitch.
Warne has built a wonderful close-knit group of players who have given it everything. It is right that at the end these players and staff are rewarded with another promotion to the Championship.