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EFL UPDATE: COVID-19

29 May 2020

Clubs in League One still undecided on a way forward with final decision expected in June 8 meeting

EFL STATEMENT: BOARD UPDATE

At its meeting on Wednesday 27 May 2020, having carefully considered submissions from clubs, the EFL Board agreed to progress with the proposed framework it outlined on Thursday 21 May 2020 in respect of changes to EFL Regulations in the event season 2019/20 is curtailed in any EFL division.

At the same time as advising on its proposed approach last week, the Board had asked clubs to give it appropriate consideration and provide any feedback. Communications were submitted from clubs across all divisions and those proposals, some of which have been made available publicly, suggested how the framework in the event the season is ended prematurely could alternatively work.

The Board has to date been consistent in its approach that playing out the remainder of season 2019/20 when it is safe to do so, is the preferred position and whilst the Championship have advised of their intentions to resume fixtures, League Two clubs have indicated their preference to curtail the season.  At present clubs in League One are still undecided.   

A decision on whether or not to curtail the season is a matter to be considered by clubs in any affected division, but only once a framework for resolving open issues in such circumstances has been agreed by all members across all divisions through a Regulation change.  

After a full and comprehensive review of the club submissions, alongside consideration of views stated at the Club meetings of 13 and 15 May 2020, the Board unanimously agreed to continue with the original approach and is now proposing to call a meeting of clubs on Monday 8 June 2020 to consider and, if thought fit, approve the proposals to introduce the Regulation change.

The EFL Articles allow member clubs the opportunity to propose amendments to Regulations and should any Club wish to propose an alternative, it must do so by submitting such a proposal by no later than 2.00pm on Tuesday 2 June 2020.

The EFL will issue any notice of meeting later that day.  Any such Club proposals will be considered at the same meeting as the Board’s proposal.

The recommended framework as communicated on Thursday 20 May, 2020 is...

1. Resuming the 2019/20 season with the existing format remains the most appropriate course of action from a sporting integrity perspective, but the Board accepts there are circumstances that may lead to curtailment, (as has been demonstrated with League Two) or a situation subsequently transpires whereby the season is unable to conclude.

2. This means that in the event of an early curtailment:

a) Final divisional placings should be determined on unweighted points per game (if required).

b) Promotion and relegation should be retained.

c) Play-Offs should be played in all circumstances but should not be extended (beyond four teams).

3. If a scenario arises whereby the Play-Offs cannot be played, the EFL Board will determine the appropriate course of action.

4. The Board considers that the majority required to curtail the 2019/20 season in any division should be 51%. Determining whether or not to curtail the season is a decision for each division to take.

5. The principle of relegation across all three divisions is integral to the integrity of the pyramid, from the Premier League down to the National League, provided we have assurances that the National League will start season 2020/21 (i.e. the relegated Club in League Two has somewhere to play).

6. Any regulatory solution should be relevant and specific to the current challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and reach a conclusion that is clear and effective with the impact and justifications easy for all stakeholders to understand.


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