Here we break down the exclusive piece from The Athletic, which reveals that League One is to conclude as early as this Monday.
On Friday morning, The Athletic reported that League One and League Two clubs will be told that it is impossible for them to finish the season on the pitch.
Instead, they are to decide a fair method to resolve the season, which will determine how teams will be promoted and relegated.
The Athletic announced that “the EFL board has already received several proposals from clubs, with the current favourite being a points-per-game (PPG) model weighted to reflect how many games the teams have played home and away.
“The rationale for this idea is a non-weighted PPG calculation does not take into account the fact that some teams have four home games left, while others have six.”
It now seems like there is no possibility of any games being played for the rest of this season. This confirms that this year’s play-offs will not take place in either League One or League Two.
To counteract this, the teams placed in the top three in League One will be promoted to the Championship. Three will then go down to League Two, with another four being promoted back up to League One.
Only one team will go down from League Two to the National League. This will reset the EFL’s full quota of 72 teams after Bury were expelled from the football league earlier this campaign.
This proposal will leave Coventry City as champions, with Rotherham United and Oxford United finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The L1 punch-up in my notifications suggests the only way to explain the home/away PPG idea is to show you. Knock yourselves out. Southend fans, don’t bother. We’re last. pic.twitter.com/FTwTw81kCL
— Matt Slater (@mjshrimper) May 8, 2020
The bottom three in League One will stay the same. Tranmere Rovers, Southend United and Bolton Wanderers will all be relegated down to League Two.
There have been other methods in the discussion. One was to declare the season “null and void”, which has been largely criticised by clubs. This is because it would undermine all the work done over 34 plus games by clubs to get in promotion places.
At the time of writing, the plan for both the Premier League and Championship is to end the season on the pitch.
The proposed plan for them to do this is to play the remaining games in neutral grounds. This is aimed to keep the players as safe as possible during these difficult times. But it will be more challenging to do this as more weeks go by without any games being played
Rotherham United manager Paul Warne not convinced football will fully return this season. Also shares his views on how promotion should be handled (with Rotherham currently 2nd in League One)…#RUFC @BBCLookNorth pic.twitter.com/3vVEdjYYYK
— Rob Staton (@robstaton) May 5, 2020
The PPG model definitely seems to be the fairest method to end the season. This really is an unprecedented situation for everyone involved to deal with, but this is the best way to resolve the campaign.
This will not please everyone, especially the proposed relegated teams. The sides going down will have wanted to finish the season on their own terms. But I’m sure this is also the case with the teams set to be promoted.
These are not the circumstances anyone would have wanted the season to end. But in the grand scheme of things, I do not think there is a more reasonable alternative that takes all the clubs into account.
Paul Warne and the Rotherham players are true competitors. If there was even a slight hope to end the season on the field, I am sure they would be eager to do it.
All we can do now is see how this plays out, and if the Premier League and Championship will be forced to follow suit. We will keep you updated as things happen, as we look ahead to the return of football in 2020/21…