A report from sports publication the Athletic, claims that League One and League Two of the football league will not conclude their campaigns. The EFL would then need to decide on what happens with promotion and relegation.
The Premier League have big plans to restart the season 2019/20 in June, subject to medical advice. The UK government are keen for a return to action to help raise spirits. There are still many issues to be ironed out before a return to action
Finances the biggest issue in League One and League Two
Former Manchester United star and current Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has stated that it is 99 per cent certain that the leagues will not return. Neville is, of course, the owner of Salford City, who are currently in the fourth tier of the English football pyramid.
With the German Bundesliga set for a return next weekend and the Premier League pushing for a return, Neville makes a very important point about the differences in the two big leagues and the English lower leagues. The big difference is of course money.
The English and German clubs have the resources to play the games in the safest possible way. It is likely to cost big money to restart football in a close to safe manner. The clubs in the English lower leagues simply do not have the resources.
Cost less money to see the season out
The Premier League and the Bundesliga have television obligations that they need to fulfil. If they do not then they are likely to owe big money and may need to pay back the money that some have already spent.
However, it will cost the lower league teams less to play the remaining games of the league campaign. This money could be vital in the coming months, as some clubs face a fight for survival with no turnstile revenue. A high majority of players in the lower leagues are out of contract.
Completing the season would mean the clubs extending those players contracts. With money tight, that is a situation that most lower league clubs could ill-afford.
How will the EFL decide relegation and promotion?
This is a tricky subject for any league. This is the reason that the Dutch Eredivisie have decided to not use the promotion and relegation system after they decided to not conclude the 2019/20 campaign. However, in France, Ligue One has decided to still have relegation and promotion, despite the cancellation of the campaign.
As previously mentioned, the EFL will now have to make the tricky decision. There is no fair way of deciding it off the pitch, without the games being played. There will always be winners and losers. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. The decision is a big one. The most sensible way of deciding things is reportedly the points per games system, which has been mooted in other leagues.
Relegation may be the least of some club’s problems, as some will be fighting for their very existence. The decision seems to be a logical and sensible one for the lower league clubs.
While the Premier League wants to restart, there is still the possibility that the English top-flight may have to consider a similar decision, although at the minute it seems the last resort.
Have League One and League Two made the right decision to curtail the 2019/20 season?
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