Published: 16:00, 15 May 2020
| Updated: 16:43, 15 May 2020
League 1 clubs have been unable to reach agreement on whether to cancel the current campaign.
Clubs are weighing up the different options and the costs involved. It’s likely to cost teams like Gillingham £500,000 to complete the current campaign.
The costs involved have meant that League 2 clubs have decided unanimously to curtail the season. Promotion and relegation issues have yet to be decided.
Peterborough United and other teams around the play-off places in League 1 have formed an alliance, hoping to convince others to finish the remaining games. Oxford United, Sunderland, Fleetwood, Portsmouth and Ipswich Town all want to carry on.
The Peterborough chairman has previously threatened legal action if the season was to be cancelled.
Gillingham had wanted to keep going too, once it was safe to do so, but the EFL have told clubs the costs alone of testing their players are going to be around £140,000 a team.
It’s understood the Gills, like most other clubs in the EFL, have used the government’s job retention scheme to help pay their playing staff. A return to work would mean they would have to start paying players again.
Fellow League 1 side Accrington Stanley revealed through their chairman Andy Holt, that the furlough scheme has saved them £150,000 so far in wages.
If clubs want to complete the season they would incur extra travel costs and they would also need to accept liability, should anything happen to their players, something that has made many wary.
An EFL statement said: “The rationale for playing the remaining matches has been fully debated with a particular focus on the issues Covid-19 has created in respect of health and wellbeing, ongoing testing requirements, player registration issues and the financial burdens clubs already face at this difficult time.
“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.
“The EFL Board, whose aspiration has always been to conclude the 2019/20 season by completing the remaining fixtures, has previously stated that any decision on how to conclude the season is a matter for clubs to determine in their respective divisions.”
The EFL say there were “varied views” shared In League 1 and it “was determined that there would be a further period of reflection and consultation to understand what creative solutions could be implemented.
“It was acknowledged that the need to find innovative and creative solutions was of paramount importance as was the need for decisions to be taken quickly.”
Championship clubs met earlier in the week and are keen to conclude the season.
More by this authorLuke Cawdell