League One and League Two teams will will not play anymore games this season and the leagues will both be abandoned reports The Athletic with an announcement likely early next week.
The Athletic’s Matt Slater is reporting this morning that the English Football League will tell all League One and League two clubs that there is no chance of playing the season to a conclusion and will ask the clubs to vote on a method of promotion and relegation.
The Athletic understands that several clubs have already put forward proposals for how this might work with the current front runner being a “points per game” model (PPG), which would be weighted to reflect how many games a team has played at home and away this season.
It is set to be weighted that way because some teams have four home games left while others have six. Over the whole EFL this season, the home team has won 46 percent of matches, while the away side has won just 26 per cent of games.
This method has been used to decide the lower leagues in football before, often when bad weather has seen numerous games abandoned and it has been used to decide things in the COVID-19 pandemic too.
In League One, account would be taken of the fact that Bury FC disappeared from the football landscape last year meaning only 23 clubs took part in the League this term.
It means that the top three in League One would stay the same, with Coventry being crowned as the Champions and being joined in the Championship by Paul Warne’s Rotherham along with Oxford United.
At the bottom, the current bottom three of Tranmere, Bolton and Southend would be relegated.
In League Two, Swindon Town would overtake Crewe to win the title with Plymouth staying third but with Cheltenham taking the last last promotion spot away from Exeter City. Stevenage would remain bottom and be relegated from League Two.
Naturally, this is going to suit some and not others but with more than half of a League One/League Two club’s income coming from match day revenue and the money simply not being available to put in place all the checks, tests and safety measures that behind closed doors games would require, it looks like the only option.
It should be noted though that in the Premier League nothing has changed and along with the Championship, those two leagues are still determined to play the season to a finish. In any case, I think I’m right in saying that a PPG model in the Premier League would still relegate Norwich City.
There have been suggestions that no team should be relegated but Premier League and EFL bosses are generally against the idea of this due to the resulting fixture congestion if extra teams were promoted without relegation. The thought of scrapping the Carabao Cup or not having replays in the FA Cup is also not liked as these matches provide crucial income for clubs in the two lower leagues.