The careless actions of MacAnthony and friends are tarnishing the reputation of League One & their focus is in the wrong place…
Over recent weeks we have seen tensions grow between teams at the top of League One. With time now running out, teams and the board must agree on a fair culmination to the league season.
Unfortunately, this has turned bitter very quickly with the greed of certain chairman coming to the fore. It is widely considered that a PPG model is the most appropriate method to end the season.
This is not how anyone would have wanted the season to end but given the circumstances, it makes the best of an unfortunate situation.
Ideally, League One clubs would agree to this and we could move onto next season. But this has not been the case at all.
Peterborough chairman, Darragh MacAnthony, and other owners have resorted to bully boy tactics to force the EFL into agreeing to end the season on the pitch. They have even threatened the organisation with lawsuits if they do not get their way.
This is a poor indictment on the state of the game today and the attitude of some club owners. They have shown no regard for the health and wellbeing of their players and staff.
It is quite embarrassing really. But I am glad that these money-hungry owners’ true colours are now clear for all to see. Their behaviour is all the more shocking when you compare their actions to teams in League Two.
LATEST: I understand Port Vale, one point off the play-off places in League Two, voted to end the season.
They have sacrificed their chance to fight for promotion to do what is best for the league.
— Tom Leach (@TomLeachHL) May 15, 2020
They were told about the PPG plans and they accepted it and moved on. They rightly have the safety of everyone involved in mind, as well as the financial struggles each team at that level are facing.
Port Vale are in a very similar position to Peterborough, and there is a stark contrast in the way each team has behaved.
A lot of praise should go to Port Vale. They have given up their strong position knowing that it is best for the league. Compare this to Peterborough and others, and you see that money is at the front of their mind ahead of anything else.
Most people knew this already, but in these worrying times, you would have hoped that owners showed some dignity and did what was best for the league.
Sadly this is not the case, as we plough on without a set resolution to League One. This should all have been finalised weeks ago, but yet we still wait to see if MacAnthony and co get what they want.
In League One there is such a disparity in fortunes between certain clubs. On one side we have the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Accrington Stanley, who would not be able to keep going in a climate without fans coming through the gate.
Then we move to the big clubs who are in a far stronger position after spending a lot of time in the Premier League and Championship.
It is fair to say that every team would want to play on and finish the season. But in these troublesome times, this is just not feasible.
Watford captain Troy Deeney has said he will not return to training this week amid concerns for his own son's health.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 19, 2020
I am sure knowing the character of Paul Warne and his players, they would have loved to finish the season. Yet if it means putting clubs under significant risk of going bust, is it really worth it?
MacAnthony has been insisting that Rotherham United have not done enough to deserve promotion just yet. I am not sure why he has just targeted the Millers, with Coventry not too far ahead in their own right, but that is by the by.
Rotherham, along with the likes of Wycombe and Accrington, have acted respectfully during these dark days. They are seemingly among only a few teams to have common sense in League One.
The risk of bringing League One back is just not worth the reward. Do these owners really think that dragging football back this soon for the sake of promotion is worth bankrupting teams?
MacAnthony and the rest should not get their way. When a decision is eventually reached, the EFL should force League One to follow suit with League Two. The precedent is set, so why should League One have to end any differently than the division below?
But if the play-offs are extended thanks to MacAnthony and friend’s self-indulgence, I would not mind it if Rotherham pulled out of the race.
Paul Warne and his team will be confident that they could still advance through the play-offs. But if promotion to the Championship really means that much to these teams, the Millers faithful will be happy to sit back and watch them foolishly fight over what would be a tainted promotion.
Whatever does happen, we need to find a solution sooner rather than later. It has been a long season, and teams like Rotherham and Coventry have worked very hard to get where they are.
It would be fantastic to end 2019/20 with a well-earned promotion for Rotherham. But if it ends up being someone like Peterborough that goes up, I would hope that what they did to get there sticks in the memory…
Gareth Ainsworth on @bbc5live: “Financially, continuing the season would be a real stretch for us. I feel guilty even talking about football coming back when there are still 500 people dying every day. My job as a manager is to keep my players safe.”
— Wycombe Wanderers (@wwfcofficial) May 15, 2020