All 24 clubs of League Two have unanimously voted to end the 2019/20 season early.
The decision is subject to EFL and FA clearance. The EFL confirmed in a statement on Friday that the intention remains for promotion, play-offs and relegation to take place where seasons are ended early.
The EFL stated that final placings of the rest of the league will be determined by an “unweighted points-per-game system” in line with a “framework” set up by the EFL in the event of a curtailed campaign.
The framework also means that the promotion playoffs to League One will still take place, whereby Exeter City, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and Northampton Town will be forced to conclude their campaign at a later date under different circumstances in which they started it, as well as potential relegation for bottom-placed Stevenage. Despite this, the EFL confirmed that “no commitments were made [in respect of relegation]and the Board will now consider the implications of the division’s preferred approach at their next meeting“, scheduled for Wednesday 20 May.
The official EFL statement continued:
“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.”
What about the Championship and League One?
While all 23 clubs of the third-tier of English football and the EFL met for over two hours yesterday, no official decision was made in regards to how the season would be ended. Further talks are due over the weekend and on Monday, in order to reach a conclusive decision.
Ending the current campaign in League One prematurely is understood to an option under consideration, though the EFL have insisted that a “further period of reflection” is required before making such a decision:
“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.”
The statement also indicated that their was a common belief that solutions were still required “to fill the financial hole left by the crisis”, regardless of a potential restart of the league. This is in light of EFL chairman Rick Parry warning that clubs will face a £200 million gap in revenue by September.
Six League One clubs confirmed on Thursday that their intention was to complete the season: Ipswich, Oxford, Sunderland, Fleetwood, Peterborough and Portsmouth.
Conversely, Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony has stated that finishing the season would reduce the potential revenue ‘black-hole’ to £500,000, and would be a far better alternative for the division in the long-term.
Championship clubs meanwhile will not return to training until May 25 at the earliest. There is a common intention among such clubs to finish the campaign before the July 31 deadline set by EFL Chairman Perry.