League Two clubs have voted to terminate the 2019-20 season early, but a similar decision is yet to be reached on the fate of League One.
The decision to finish the 4th tier season early came after a conference call between the 24 clubs, with the full news confirmed in a statement released by the EFL.
Clubs across the 3rd and 4th tiers met to discuss barriers to restart, including player health and well-being, the financial implications of both hosting games behind closed doors and testing regimes and player contracts among other things.
The EFL confirmed that as part of their meeting, clubs in League Two unanimously declared to end the season early in line with EFL framework. It was also mentioned clubs asked that relegation from League Two to the National League was to be suspended for 2019/20. Factors such as promotion and relegation are to be determined at a follow-up meeting next week.
The league said, “Having considered the protocols and costs that would be required to be met to conclude the current season, League Two Clubs have unanimously indicated a preferred direction of travel to curtail the campaign in line with the framework outlined by the EFL Board.
“In addition, Clubs asked for consideration to be given to suspending relegation to the National League for 2019/20 as a result of circumstances created where fixtures cannot be completed. No commitments were made in this respect and the Board will now consider the implications of the division’s preferred approach at their next meeting.”
However, the third tier has not reached a resolution, with the EFL stating further meetings will be held. following a lack of a unified view among the third tier clubs
The EFL said, “There were varied views shared in League One and it was determined that there would be a further period of reflection and consultation to understand what creative solutions could be implemented. It was acknowledged that the need to find innovative and creative solutions was of paramount importance as was the need for decisions to be taken quickly.”
Early indications had been that League One would be cancelled alongside the 4th tier, with reports in The Athletic and commentary from pundits indicating both would be terminated at the same time.
In response to this direction of travel, a statement released yesterday (14/05) by six League One promotion hopefuls wanting to finish the season on merit.
The statement was co-signed by Oxford United, Portsmouth, Fleetwood Town, Peterborough United, Sunderland and Ipswich Town, and was initially released by the Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony on social media.
In their statement, the EFL confirmed in a statement that unweighted points per game will be the league’s preferred methodology for sorting league’s stopped due to the coronavirus crisis.
The weighted points per game method chosen by the EFL would see Swindon Town crowned League 2 champions, with Crewe and Plymouth as runners-up, and a play off quartet of Exeter, Cheltenham, Colchester and Northampton. The EFL also stated it would like to hold play-offs, though is yet to provide a timeframe for when these might take place.