The destiny of the 2019/20 League One campaign will finally be decided on Tuesday, June 9 (hopefully). Here’s how…
So what’s happening on June 9?
The EFL clubs from the Championship, League One and League Two will be voting on whether to end their respective season now or to play on. The Championship clubs have already said they will finish the season on the pitch; League Two clubs have agreed to end the season now but League One clubs are undecided.
So it’s that simple then, a straight vote - to play or not to play, that is the question?
It’s far from simple as it has massive consequences so before the vote on continuing the season or not, there has to be a framework in place to determine final league positions should the majority in each division vote for the season to end now.
The EFL board want to use an unweighted points per game formula to determine final placings. Promotion and relegation would take place as normal with four teams in the Play-Offs. In League One that means Coventry and Rotherham would be promoted with Wycombe finishing third; Oxford fourth; Portsmouth fifth and Fleetwood sixth. They would contest the Play-Offs with Town ending 11th. Tranmere, Southend and Bolton would be relegated. But the EFL opened it up to clubs to come back with any counter proposals to the above by Tuesday June 2. And clubs did.
Which clubs and what proposals?
Barnsley, Stevenage, Tranmere, Lincoln and Town. Barnsley have proposed no relegation from a division that fails to conclude its fixture schedule. Tranmere have provided an in-depth argument to adopt the unweighted points per game formula but with a ‘margin of error’ calculation based on form over the last three seasons that is applied to produce a ‘Final Points Range’ for each club. The impact of this could extend the number of teams contesting the Play-Offs and/or reduce the number of clubs relegated. Lincoln have proposed that points deductions on clubs are taken into consideration in any points per game formula while Stevenage have requested no relegation from League Two if the season is not played out.
The Club’s proposal, for League One only, is that there is further consultation between the Board and the clubs over an alternative Play-Off formula for 2019/20 and that any proposal that has the support of at least six other clubs should go to a vote.
So how does the voting work for all that?
Clubs across all three divisions will be asked to vote on Barnsley’s proposal first. If that proposal is passed, it will impact on what follows. Tranmere’s proposal will be heard next and if that is passed, then the other three proposals are unlikely to be voted for at that stage. If Tranmere’s proposal is rejected by the majority of clubs, then the proposals from Lincoln, Stevenage and Town will be heard in that order. If any of those proposals are passed they will be added as amendments to the EFL Board’s proposal and go to a vote. If the amendments are rejected, the Board’s proposal goes to the vote as is.
How do clubs vote?
Clubs wishing to vote by proxy have until 9am on June 9 to return signed forms. Clubs who wish to attend the meeting ‘in person’ will be able to do so through a video conference. Clubs who have made proposals will be given the opportunity to ‘present their case’.
What constitutes the majority?
Clubs vote on the framework and amendment proposals. Then League One clubs will vote on whether the season continues or not. Fifty one per cent gives you a majority so if 12 clubs vote to carry on in League One… it’s game on.
What way will Town vote?
It’s always been the Club’s view that the season should be completed on the pitch.