Published: 14:00, 21 May 2020
| Updated: 14:16, 21 May 2020
The Football League have ruled out an extended play-off campaign which could have involved Gillingham.
An EFL board meeting took place on Wednesday and following that they have issued a recommended framework should the member clubs decide to end the season now.
Gillingham would ideally like their remaining games played but a play-off that involved teams from third to 10th was also of interest.
But the EFL have now said that any play-off would not be extended beyond the normal four teams, those finishing third to sixth.
It means Gills’ only hope of promotion now would be if the league season was to be completed as normal and they manage to make the top six.
The EFL have also said that if the season is ended early then the final placings would be determined on an unweighted points per game average, which would see the Gills finish 10th.
Clubs are being asked to consider what the want to do next.
The EFL say resuming the 2019/20 season with the existing format “remains the most appropriate course of action from a sporting integrity perspective” but League 2 clubs decided unanimously to end their season over financial concerns of playing behind closed doors.
It would need a vote of 51% or more from the League 1 clubs for the season to end. At least six clubs want it to continue but the lack of an extended play-off may now rule out some of those that were sitting on the fence.
It's now looking likely that League 1 will be ended early. Promotion and relegation should be retained, say the EFL, whatever happens.
If PPG are used to determined places then Coventry City and Rotherham United would be the top two. Wycombe Wanderers would finish in third place.
The EFL also say 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. Relegation from League 2 would only take place if the National League could give an assurance that they will start season 2020/21.
Their statement added: “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.”
EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “In the event that a divisional decision is made to curtail the 2019/20 season, the EFL Board is recommending that the League adopts the original framework with the amendments as identified, as there is a strong desire to remain as faithful as possible to the regulations and ensure there is consistency in the approach adopted across the EFL in all divisions.
“The Board has always acknowledged that a single solution to satisfy all clubs would always be hard to find, but we are at the point now where strong, definitive action is need for the good of the league and its members.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell