MK Dons Executive Director Andrew Cullen has said the club intends to side with any majority on how to proceed with the 2019/20 League One season.
Cullen made his remarks in an interview with MKFM earlier this week, and one that reinforces previous comments by club chairman Pete Winkelman last month. Winkelman said in April that while MK Dons were ready to restart play, he said that the club would go with a majority verdict.
League One has not played games since March 7th in wake of the coronavirus crisis, and talks are still ongoing as to whether the season will continue or be finished early.
6 clubs have been vocal in wishing for the 2019/20 season to continue playing rather than using a PPG system to calculate a final table, with Peterborough United and Portsmouth among the most vocal.
However, other clubs have either called for the season to finish or believe that a consensus to allow it to finish early will be reached instead.
In his comments, Cullen said the Dons will weigh up what is the right thing to do, but reiterated the club maintained their view to be consistent to what the league wants to do.
Cullen said, “Our position, all along, has been that we will be consistent with what the league wants to do.
“We will look at the three arguments – what does it mean economically for MK Dons and for the league; how does it affect the sporting integrity of the league; and, ultimately, what are the impacts on the health and welfare of our players and staff.
“In terms of this situation, we will go along with the majority view. If the majority view is to carry on, then we will. Equally, if the majority view is to not carry on, we’re happy with points-per-game [PPG] as a solution, with promotion, play-offs and relegation.
“[PPG] is a bone of contention, obviously, but I believe the league have been absolutely correct and clear that the PPG proposal is the right process.”
When League One was paused in early March, MK Dons were 18th in the table after 35 games played, having played one more than Rochdale and Tranmere below them. An unweighted PPG system, which the EFL intends to adopt for seasons that can’t finish, would say MK and Rochdale swap places but would still see both finish above the relegation zone and retain their respective League One statuses.
Cullen also declared he anticipated there would be a lot of discussions between clubs in the coming days to build a consensus for how to finish the season.
He said, “There will be plenty of dialogue over the next few days and I’d imagine clubs, either way, will be trying to lobby each other and that might be to a club like us, who want to understand all the concerns that teams have.
“I can completely understand why clubs feel unhappy about the prospect that season won’t continue. I empathise with them and where they are.
“They are trying to do what is the right thing for their Football Club by making the case that they should play on, and you have to ask yourself, if you were in their position, would you do the same thing? Of course you would.
“However, just as equally, there are other clubs who know that playing on could put them out of business. They too are doing absolutely the right thing for their Football Club by calling for the season to be cancelled.
“I’m sure there would be absolute outcry from their supporters and the wider footballing community, if they had to continue play on without any revenue or bank support and went under. It’s difficult to divorce yourself from either argument.
“Ultimately, our first duty is to MK Dons but we also recognise that we are members of the league and we want to see the league remain in-tact with 72 members kicking off next season.”