Lee Bowyer: Relegating Charlton from Championship on points-per-game would be 'scandalous'
By Paul Gilmour, Sky Sports News reporter
Last Updated: 12/05/20 10:25am
Lee Bowyer says relegating Charlton on a points-per-game (PPG) system would be "scandalous" as he appealed to the EFL to be fair in how they decide the outcome of the Sky Bet Championship season.
In a wide-ranging interview with Sky Sports News, the Charlton manager said:
- PPG should only be used at halfway point in season
- Reveals out-of-contract players are unlikely to play beyond end of June
- Financial capping would help clubs avoid being in this situation in future
- It would be unfair to relegate a club that has been in the bottom three for just six days all season
"It would kill our football club," Bowyer described potential relegation by PPG. "We would struggle. I don't know the extent but it would be bad. We're not in a great position anyway."
Bowyer is hoping for clarity when he takes part in a video call with fellow managers this week and he hopes the EFL will be represented.
"There is meant to be a meeting later in the week with the managers and hopefully someone from the EFL, and I'll be saying to them what I'm saying to you," he said.
"To be called as it stands today would be scandalous, it would be wrong on every level. For us as a club it wouldn't be acceptable. I don't think they'll (EFL) give too much away because they never do.
"I think we'll be guided by what happens in the Premier League. We've only been in there [relegation zone] for six days for the whole season. If they had called it the week before, it would have been Middlesbrough in the bottom three.
"If they have to call it a day - the fairest way would be halfway through the season - so you're judging it when everyone played each other once."
Bowyer worried about player contracts
Bowyer is also expecting issues around the subject of player contracts, should clubs be able to finish their games.
"I've got players out of contract on June 30 and they won't play after that, I know that," he added. "We have nine players and six loan players, 15 in total who could just say 'I'm done'.
"There are so many different hurdles. It's hard, and not just for us but other clubs. We've got Lyle Taylor and his contract finishes on June 30.
"He'll probably go somewhere else and will earn more money than he's got in his career. It could make him for the rest of his life. Is he going to put that in jeopardy with the injury risk before a dream move? I don't think so.
"He's our main striker and his goals win us games. As a free agent he'll be getting good offers, and whatever he gets he deserves. He's done really well for us but that's the reality of the situation."
Bowyer has worries over what happens if a player tests positive during the season resumption.
"The reason it was suspended in the first place was Arteta and everything stopped," he said. "If we get one player, does that mean everything will stop?
"Now they're saying 'Carry on, you can't keep moving goalposts'. If one gets it, we all need to step back, because I don't want to bring it home to my family. We'd have to step back and then what? I don't know how it's going to get resolved."
'I would feel sorry for Leeds'
Former Leeds midfielder Bowyer - who played for the club from 1996 to 2003 - expressed sympathy with his old side, who are sitting top of the league.
"I'd feel sorry for the teams at the top, Leeds and West Brom," he added. "It's a difficult situation. Leeds have worked hard and put a lot of money into it, they are reliant on promotion this season.
"Our league is so tight. QPR are only six points off the play-offs and could easily make that up. It'll be interesting to hear everyone's views on this call later in the week.
"I have heard other managers saying 'It would be wrong for us to be relegated'."
Bowyer suggests financial capping
So how will this pandemic change the outlook for those in the sport?
"Clubs might come together and say 'Look, we can't be in this situation again' - it might close the gap between top and bottom teams and they might start capping things," Bowyer said.
"Stick a cap on players in Championship downwards. I think it would be a good thing and make it more even across the board.
"We played against one team this season and one player earned more than double our entire starting eleven, so is that fair? If the gap was closed it would be more interesting."