Way forward clearer after Football League clubs vote

09 Jun 2020 03:49 pm, by YorkshireSquare

The future of the 2019/20 season become much clearer today after an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Football League. Clubs voted on proposals in respect of changes to EFL Regulations in the event season 2019/20 is curtailed. Following a voting by all 71 Clubs, it was overwhelmingly agreed to adopt the EFL Board’s proposal into EFL Regulations. This now means that should and division be curtailed early; final placings will be determined on unweighted points per game, promotion and relegation should be retained and play-offs will be played in all circumstances but will not be extended beyond four teams. Further votes were held where both League One and League Two clubs voted to end the season early.

Coventry and Rotherham will be promoted to the Championship, but "ongoing disciplinary matters" mean it is not yet certain who will drop out of League Two. Stevenage are currently bottom of the EFL, but they could yet be reprieved after Macclesfield Town were handed a fresh EFL charge on 1st June. Cancellation of leagues has been met with some resistance in other leagues - in France, the cancellation of their tier one football had a threatened lawsuit due to the outcome for ending early, similarly in the SPFL as Scottish club Hearts threatened similar after facing relegation due to the early exit. Todays vote should prevent similar disagreements and challenges from clubs within the third and fourth tiers of English football.

The writing into Football Leagues regulations that both promotion and relegation will be retained should be good news for Leeds United. With Leeds top of the table, the Championship season is set to kick off in just under two weeks but there are challenges to completing the season with the risk of a second outbreak or a large number of players testing positive. The new regulations will ensure that promotion is still in place and a method for deciding final league places has been decided. As it stands, if the season fails to get restarted Leeds would be promoted to the Premier League.

Although we will now not see the League One and Two seasons restart, the Premier League and Championship are set to return very soon. The first games are set to take place on the 17th June which is great news for football and betting fans alike as football will be one of the first major sporting events to return to the UK. Despite a growing number of operators having to register with Gamstop, there are betting sites not blocked and widely available for those looking for somewhere to get involved despite the growing presence of the self-inclusion initiative - many of these non gamstop sites also allow for credit card betting following the recent ban within the UK.

There is still a tough road ahead for the smaller clubs. Even if the 2020/21 season does get underway sometime later this year they will be deprived of gate receipts for some time. Whilst some teams will benefit from today’s decisions, there will be others who will begin to struggle more - eyes will now turn to both the EFL and the government to see what safeguards can be put in place to help any team that may risk going under because of the ongoing crisis and the season having been cut short - although it has been known for some time that some wouldn’t make it, the very real possibility is now starting to creep into the minds of owners and players as the impact of the coronavirus has perhaps been a little longer lasting than many would’ve either hoped or expected.