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It's impossible to finish the League 1 season says Gillingham chairman Paul Scally as clubs debate if and how to end it now

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally thinks it’s “impossible” to now complete the League 1 season.

Club are currently discussing whether to finish the 2019/20 campaign now and if so, how relegation and promotion issues are decided.

Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says it will cost between £250-£350,000 to complete the season
Gillingham chairman Paul Scally says it will cost between £250-£350,000 to complete the season

The EFL have set out a framework to decide how to end the season early but their preference is to complete the remaining games.

But the cost and the lack of time are both against clubs in the lower leagues, says the Gills chairman.

Speaking to Radio Kent, Mr Scally said: “It is impossible to get the games in, in my view, and even if we could get the games in the financial cost for every league 1 club at the £250-£350,000 mark is just unaffordable.

“We haven’t got the funds to spend on finishing nine games, it is just too expensive.”

Clubs have been struggling without their normal matchday income. The Gills haven’t had a home game since the end of February.

Mr Scally has previously suggested the Professional Footballers’ Association stump up the cost of coronavirus testing, which for many clubs at their level is an extra cost that they just can’t afford.

The EFL have put the price of testing at around £140,000 per club.

Time is running short too. Expiring contracts run to the end of June and even the potential of stretching them out for an extra month would make it tight, particularly as the EFL are keen to continue with the play-offs.

Manager Steve Evans has always been keen to play on to a conclusion but he’s admitted too that he doesn’t want that to happen at the detriment of the club.

Evans, speaking this week, said: “He (the chairman) has to make the decisions that are right for the football club that go beyond football.

“There are hundreds of employees at the club for starters and I don’t want to play football at the detriment of 50 people at the Gills losing their job because of cost.

“If we have to stop playing football then at least for me there would be a large protection of jobs and we can plan and get ready.”

Gillingham are currently sitting 11th in League 1, with an outside chance of making the play-offs. If the season ends now the table is likely to be finalised on points per game average (PPG), which would see Evans’ side finishing 10th.

A final decision on what happens in League 1 isn’t now expected until June 8, at the earliest. Clubs have to agree to the changes of the EFL rules, regarding their new framework for ending the season early before declaration can be made over which way League 1 clubs are thinking - to end it now or attempt to play on.

It’s expected the League 1 clubs will vote to end the season now.

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