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Posh Co-Owner: Extended Play-Off Solution Gaining Legs With Top 10 Owners
Tuesday, 19th May 2020 12:25

Peterborough co-owner Stewart Thompson says the extended play-off suggestion made by Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony is “gaining legs” with the “top 10” owners of League One clubs. This scenario could potentially see the Blues involved if based on current league position rather than a points per game scenario.

The impasse regarding the future of the 2019/20 campaign at League One level continues with discussions ongoing.

The EFL, who have asked clubs to individually put forward proposals on the way forward, has a board meeting on Wednesday with a conclusive vote one way or the other - with it believed more clubs want the season brought to an early end than want it played to a conclusion behind closed doors - expected before the end of the week. The EFL is keen that whatever solution is ultimately given the nod that the vote is decisive rather than being close to a 50/50 split.

Town were one of six clubs wanting the season to be completed to lobby the EFL ahead of Friday’s meeting of the 23 clubs, MacAnthony having released a statement on behalf of the collective the previous evening. Blues owner Marcus Evans wrote to EFL chairman Rick Parry stating that "the focus should be on how we finish the season and not how do we end the season on an incomplete basis".

At Friday’s meeting MacAnthony made what was initially viewed as a semi-serious suggestion that the play-offs should be extended to eight clubs, however, the idea has subsequently gained traction with sides, such as Sunderland on the cusp of the play-offs, expressing their support for the proposal.

In a series of tweets, Thompson wrote: “This solution [extended play-offs] is gaining legs with the ‘top 10’ owners. I can totally understand why after the top 10 you don’t actually care. A play-off like this is way more fair than WPG or PPG.

“It’s an easier straight up formula because what do you weigh, home form, away form, league placing form etc?”

As the league stands, Peterborough are currently sixth but would drop to seventh on points per game [PPG] or weighted points per game.

The Blues are 10th but under either PPG scenario would drop to 11th. Even if clubs agree to extending the play-offs it would be a surprise if those involved would be based on the current top 10 with Town having played a game more than Gillingham, who would move above them on either of the PPG formulas.

Gills boss Steve Evans is keen for his club to take part and believes they would have a chance of emerging victorious.

“I would trust we will give a good account of ourselves and perhaps even win them,” he told the Kent Messenger.

“It would be hard luck on some though, including Ipswich, who would miss out.

“No big clubs can get a free wildcard, if you don’t have the points you’re not involved.”

Thompson added: “I remember when [Crystal Palace chairman] Steve Parish mentioned the possibility of no football till the 2021/22 season and I thought how scary that scenario is.

“In League One, we are there. If teams won’t play behind closed doors now, they won’t in September and I understand why when you stay alive with gate money.

“[Peterborough’s ownership] think we should be playing, but if the EFL wants to create solidarity, they are going to have to give the smaller clubs a reason not to shutter and furlough until July 2021.

“Every club has an agenda. Staying alive by shuttering is a real agenda. If the EFL want to solve the issue, we need to hear that agenda and embrace a mechanism that ensures the small clubs live and we all play ASAP. The Premier League and the Government could also help.

“I’m saying if all clubs knew they were financially safe, conversations on when/how to start and finish season/start new season would be easier for all the clubs. The decisions would have been made by now.”

Meanwhile, Burton Albion parted company with manager Nigel Clough yesterday due to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis. Captain Jake Buxton will take charge on July 1st when his playing contract is up.

Photo: TWTD

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dirtydingusmagee added 12:40 - May 19
on and on ,just get a decision Wednesday and lets all move on it wont please everyone whatever happens but at some point you must bite the bullet .The present uncertainty is no good to anyone .

Len_Brennan added 12:48 - May 19
I posted this on the Lambert thread yesterday, but it's more appropriate to here now given the increase in suggested support for the idea:

There is no magic bullet solution & some team(s) are going to feel hard done by no matter what the outcome and may resort to legal recourse.
Up until now I didn't really think too much about it as I felt there was no real prospect of it affecting us, due to our horrendous form since the end of January (end of November even).
However, I could see the EFL considering this 8 team playoffs situation, given that two clubs with money and an expressed intention to take a legal route, Sunderland and Peterborough, would finish outside the top 6 on a points per game placings outcome.

This leave us in an odd position: We are currently 10th, and would be in this new final playoff spot, were it to get the green light; but ... would be replaced by Gillingham on the points per game basis, thus losing out by one place - the only team to be 'bumped' out of a coveted spot. However, objectively our remaining 'unplayed' fixtures appear easier than their's and their extra game is away from home (we have 5H -3A, they have 5H - 4A). If we look at the date it would be played (i.e. the weekend when we should have been playing Bury), they were away to Rotherham!
A football match results in 3 possible outcomes; 2 of which (draw & loss) would not see them overtaking us in the table, due to our superior goal difference, and therefore into the possible extended playoff places. They would have had to beat Rotherham away to do that - on the assumption that the other 8 games balance themselves out.

Now I'm not suggesting that we should be given the spot instead, and I'm certainly not suggesting we deserve it; but it does go to show the sheer imperfection in trying to implement a just conclusion to this clusterwhatsit and you can see why those with so much at stake (Sunderland Til I Die shows us that even clearer than we could have imagined) are fighting against a solution with impacts negatively on them. Our form had been dreadful before the break, but with our squad and particularly with those now back after injuries, should we fear any of the sides in positions 3 - 9, even with a manager who has gotten so much wrong this season? I guess this is what Marcus Evans & his board are thinking ... what if?

Blue_Again added 12:54 - May 19
We don’t deserve to be in it

midastouch added 13:01 - May 19
I don't think we deserve to be involved in it either. Sounds like Gillingham might jump us. When you consider how tiny their budget is compared to ours that shows what a mess we made of this season (well before Covid-19 came along and done its ugly worst).

Alan_Handsome added 13:03 - May 19
Is the PPG calculation done as one sum...or is it weighted and a home PPG and away PPG calculated and applied to the remaining home and away fixtures?

ITFCsince73 added 13:08 - May 19
With all football undoubtedly being behind closed doors until 2021.
How many teams in L1 and L2 will be able to operate this way, to start, play and end next season.
At a push, maybe the current top 10 in L1, and possibly Plymouth who come up from L2.
Solving the issues around finishing the current season, is no doubt the calm before a very big storm.

brazil1982 added 13:16 - May 19
I highly doubt there will be any football until early 2021, or at least until supporters are allowed in. This might give an opportunity to line with Qatar 2022 though....

Chrisd added 13:17 - May 19
Is it an absolute farce of idea to suit the bigger sides in L1. Got my fingers crossed the EFL finish the season as and now and use PPG to calculate the final standings. If you're 10th, 7 points away from the play offs having played more games than your nearest rivals and have an opportunity for promotion, something is seriously wrong with the game.

Northstandveteran added 13:32 - May 19
So yet again, in keeping with football in general, the club's that can afford it, get a crack at the championship and two fingers to the rest 😂

Slight exaggeration maybe.

Nigel Clough is available though?

But would the 188th richest man in the country be prepared to pay off P.R Paul?

Oh well, back to my sunbathing and Guinness.

MickMillsTash added 13:43 - May 19
Our record against the top 10 is embarrassing.
I think we should ask not to be considered

NorthLondonBlue2 added 13:50 - May 19
If the cost of playing games is the reason for halting the season now, why isn't there a collective view on the most cost-effective way forward. E.g, what is the total cost involved and how could that be met? Clubs with deeper pockets could offer to fund the hosting of games. Or neutral venues hired, collectively to host the matches.

The football league could step in, the government could offer 0% loans, the Premier League could help out, too.

Let's get these games played, safely, and let everyone join in, with the same opportunity!

TimmyH added 14:10 - May 19
God! hope not...that will just prolong our agony, we deserve nothing after how we were playing the last few months before covid-19.

d77sgw added 14:13 - May 19
For those wanting Clough in the hot-seat I would just point to his record at Derby and Sheff Utd - not exactly setting the world on fire...

d77sgw added 14:15 - May 19
Agree we do not deserve to be there. Lets do it properly next season. (just bloody hope that scumbag Evans doesnt get Gillingham up...)

tractordownsouth added 14:33 - May 19
That would be so typical if just one defeat from games we thought were pointless prevented us from taking part in this

RAW added 14:38 - May 19
Considering the 5 point gap between 8th and 9th if there is to be an extended play off it makes no sense to extend it beyond those teams on 59 points and 8th place

runningout added 14:53 - May 19
Agree we don’t deserve place in this play off circus. Also Watching football on tv without crowds isn’t for me. Naff if not ITFC

algarvefan added 15:04 - May 19
If we got promoted by some remote chance it would be a travesty.

Go again next season and forget it!!

tractorboybig added 15:24 - May 19
if it happens we will finish bottom anyway

TractorRoyNo1 added 15:24 - May 19
I'd be happy to have Clough at Portman Road.

ChrisR added 16:41 - May 19
What ever way you slice it , Lambert is to blame for an utterly inexcusable league position, much to do with his stupid postponements and rotations.
He may be lucky though , and keep his job due to present situation, and so lucky old us , 5 more years of this loser should just about solve all arguments as there will be no club left.

jas0999 added 17:39 - May 19
A complete injustice if we end up being involved. A travesty if we ended up with promotion. It’s been a dire season thanks to Lamberts poor management.

davidsc1971 added 18:20 - May 19
Well our record against the top clubs in the division is that bad they'll all want us involved. Nigel Clough isn't a bad shout actually, is it?

dirtydingusmagee added 19:12 - May 19
when we have gone so far and not been able to beat a side above us its a ####ing joke,We should be embarrassed to be considered. FORGET IT .

cat added 20:03 - May 19
It would be a travesty if we get anything out of this season. Lambert needs to go and fresh approach is needed. But hey, fat chance of that, failure at this club means rich rewards such as contract renewals. As long as you offer something off the pitch you can just hang around the place and pick up your wedge. It’s laughable if you think about it, rewards such as these you lose incentives and the fire in your belly. Failure started at the top and has manifested itself through the ranks.

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