Re: The Athletic
Article in full
"The English Football League will next week tell clubs in Leagues One and Two there is no chance of playing any more games this season and ask them to vote on a method to decide promotion and relegation.
EFL chairman Rick Parry told MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Wednesday morning that a resolution to the season in the third and fourth tiers was only a matter of days away and it now seems a decision could come as early as Monday or Tuesday.
The Athletic understands the EFL board has already received several proposals from clubs, with the current favourite being a points-per-game (PPG) model weighted to reflect how many games the teams have played home and away.
The rationale for this idea is a non-weighted PPG calculation does not take into account the fact that some teams have four home games left, while others have six.
This season across the Football League, the home team has won 46 per cent of the time, with away teams winning only 26 per cent of the games. Over the last six EFL seasons, the average PPG at home is 1.55, compared to 1.19 away.
Under this method, which has been used to decide the tables in English grassroots club rugby union, each club’s PPG would be worked out for their home and away fixtures, then multiplied by 22 for League One, which had 23 clubs this season because of Bury’s demise last summer, and 23 for League Two and then added together to reach a total for the season.
The Athletic understands that a League One club has prepared a detailed explanation of this method, with a full set of final tables, and emailed it to the EFL board.
With the EFL admitting there is no chance of staging its traditional end-of-season play-offs in Leagues One and Two, the top three sides in the League One will be promoted to the Championship, with three going down to League Two, while four come up from League Two and only one goes down, to restore the EFL to its full quota of 72 teams.
The weighted PPG method does not change the top three in League One at all, meaning Coventry City would be crowned champions, with Rotherham United and Oxford United joining them in the Championship next season. The current bottom three — Tranmere Rovers, Southend United and Bolton Wanderers — would still be the bottom three, although Bolton would climb one spot, leaving Southend in last place.
In League Two, Swindon Town would leapfrog Crewe Alexandra into first place, with Plymouth Argyle staying in third but Cheltenham Town climbing over Exeter City to claim the final promotion spot. Stevenage would remain in last place, despite the seven-point deduction Macclesfield Town received on Thursday for failing to fulfil a fixture or pay their players on time.
The Athletic has spoken to two other EFL clubs who said they were aware of this proposal and several others who said they were not, but every club approached said they knew of at least half a dozen different ideas that were circulating around the league. These include using the current tables to settle the finishing positions, a non-weighted PPG model and an idea to only count the first half of the season, which would be the first 22 games in League One and 23 games in League Two.
Some clubs have discussed using more complicated statistical models that factor in how hard each club’s run-in was before the season was suspended in March. There is considerable opposition to these models, though, with one club dismissing them as “hypothetical and unfair”.
The prospect of declaring the season “null and void” appears to have receded, as most clubs acknowledge this would be very unfair on the teams that have got themselves into the promotion place. It would also come with financial and legal risks.
However, any club faced with relegation is almost certainly going to object to being demoted on the basis of PPG, weighted or otherwise. This has led to some clubs suggesting either two or three clubs are promoted this season, with none relegated. Five teams would then be relegated from the divisions above next season, in order to reset them.
But this idea will face strong opposition from the English game’s bosses as it will lead to fixture congestion next season, complicate the distribution of central income and break the terms of the tripartite agreement the EFL, FA and Premier League signed when the top flight broke away from the EFL in 1992.
As things stand, however, both the Premier League and Championship are determined to finish this season’s fixtures in neutral stadiums behind closed doors, which would mean all these issues would be settled on the pitch in the top two divisions."
To put this in context it looks like it has been put fw by one club. Based upon twitter responses to journo's feed I suspect Coventry. Notable that two other clubs knew about this but 'several' others did not. That alone suggests that it is just one of the many ideas floating around at the mo and nothing more.
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