League Two clubs vote to end season early amid coronavirus pandemic

24 clubs vote unanimously for three teams to be promoted to League One, with promotion play-offs still taking place and no relegations to the National League

League Two clubs have voted to end the season early
Image: League Two clubs have voted to end the season early

League Two clubs have voted to end their seasons early, pending approval from the EFL and FA.

At a meeting on Friday, the 24 clubs took an indicative vote and decided unanimously that three teams should be promoted to League One, the promotion play-offs will still take place, and no teams should be relegated to the National League.

As it stands, Crewe Alexandra, Swindon Town and Plymouth Argyle occupy the automatic promotion slots, with Exeter City, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and Northampton Town sitting in the promotion play-off places.

Stevenage are currently bottom and would avoid dropping out of the Football League although the EFL insist "no commitments were made" in terms of the vote for no relegation.

The EFL say final placings would be determined by an unweighted points-per-game system and play-offs to remain in every division to determine the final promotion place.

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Sky Sports News reporter Aidan Magee has the latest on League Two after the clubs unanimously voted to end the season early.

"Having considered the protocols and costs that would be required to be met to conclude the current season, League Two clubs have unanimously indicated a preferred direction of travel to curtail the campaign in line with the framework outlined by the EFL Board," an EFL statement read on Friday.

"In addition, clubs asked for consideration to be given to suspending relegation to the National League for 2019/20 as a result of circumstances created where fixtures cannot be completed.

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"No commitments were made in this respect and the Board will now consider the implications of the division's preferred approach at their next meeting."

Stevenage currently sit bottom of League Two but will remain in the division if the vote is approved by the EFL and FA
Image: Stevenage currently sit bottom of League Two but will remain in the division if the vote is approved by the EFL and FA

And what about League One and the Championship?

Widespread concerns that the majority of clubs cannot afford to continue the campaign without fans are likely to have played a key role in the vote as EFL chairman Rick Parry warned that clubs could be set to face a £200m gap in revenue by September.

It comes after teams in League One were unable to come to an agreement at their meeting on Friday and will have to meet again on Monday to decide on how to finish the season.

However, ending the current League One campaign prematurely - and how to do so - is an option understood to be under consideration.

"There were varied views shared in League One and it was determined that there would be a further period of reflection and consultation to understand what creative solutions could be implemented," the EFL statement read.

"In the event of a curtailment of the season, the EFL Board outlined how this could be addressed through a framework that includes maintaining the principle of promotion and relegation, league tables to be determined via unweighted points per game (PPG) and Play-Offs to remain in every division to determine the final promotion place.

Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony released a statement on Thursday on behalf of six League One clubs determined to complete their remaining league fixtures and warned clubs could have their games forfeited if they refuse to return to finish the season.

The Championship is still intent on completing the season when possible, and their decision will remain linked to what the Premier League decide to do.

On Thursday, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden said the government is "opening the door" for football to return in June, as top-flight sides could return to training next week if an agreement is reached between all clubs, players, the government, and Public Health England.

EFL

COVID-19 testing costs for clubs

League One clubs could have to pay up to £140,000 each for COVID-19 testing if they are to complete the remaining games of the 2019/20 season.

In a letter sent to all clubs, the EFL confirmed that the clubs would be liable for the cost of testing which would be done at independent test hubs at each team's training ground.

The amount of testing at each club would vary, depending on squad size and other factors such as how many home games each club has left and required staff and media on the day of the games.

The costs are based on each club carrying out two tests per week on 25 players and approximately 82 further personnel who would need to attend the League One games.

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