Published: 06:00, 04 June 2020
| Updated: 09:03, 04 June 2020
Gillingham’s hopes of playing the remaining games of the 2019/20 season are looking slim.
A vote on whether to end the season now has yet to be made as the Football League are yet to finalise a framework that would be used should the season be curtailed.
Club bosses are now expected to now hold a meeting on Tuesday - put back 24 hours - to discuss any new proposals suggested by clubs.
All of the talk has left the actual chances of playing out the season pretty remote. The EFL have said all along their preferred choice would be to play all remaining games but their leadership has been questioned as League 1 clubs continue to debate what’s best.
Gills manager Steve Evans has always said he would want to play on but he knows time is not on their side and he’s growing frustrated.
“I just want them to stop p*****g about,” he said.
“Make your decision. Our chairman said to me this week that he we will be getting his Christmas lights up before this happens.
“Our chairman is right, the Christmas lights are going up soon. Let’s try and play football again before we put the Christmas lights up!
“It’s just getting harder and harder. I have made it very clear to our chairman that I want to play. We need some clear leadership from the Football League. It should be implemented by now. We should know what we are doing.
“The one thing we know is that you are never going to please everyone in League 1 whatever you do.”
“The board of directors at the Football League are led by a good chairman, but you have to be strong and say, ‘right this is what I feel we should do’ and implement it. That’s it.”
The Gills chairman said last week he thought it would be unaffordable to carry on and also pointed to the time scale.
Evans said: “I have always said I want to play football, my chairman is probably leaning towards a different view now because of costs.
“The people above me have always done the finance, my job is to build the team, and win football matches. I would love an opportunity and a crack at the last nine games, if I had my players available. If that is not to be the case I respect the decision, if it is to play on then let’s get back on the training ground and get ready. Don’t keep putting it off.”
Evans doesn’t believe they will now be able to conclude the season. The Championship will resume on June 20 but they have already returned to training and the last day they have scheduled for play-offs is July 30.
Beyond that point players would be free to walk away. Expiring contracts end on June 30 but the EFL have agreed that short-term contract extensions will be allowed. But for Charlton Athletic they have already had three players opting not to play.
In League 1 there are many clubs who would resume without their loan players. The integrity of the league could be harmed with teams unable to field full strength teams.
Evans said: “I look at Wycombe and they would be in the play offs but their loan player from Millwall (Jason McCarthy) has gone back because they can’t afford to keep him. Our loan players have gone back.
“I think it would be best if Gills aren’t on tv if it’s Evans and Raynor upfront. It is getting harder with the integrity issue. This is from a manager who wants to seen through and finished.
“Championship clubs had two and a half weeks to get ready. We would be inJuly before we start. That doesn’t sit with me. I just want a decision either way.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell
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