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EFL Statement Rules Out Extended Play-Offs
Thursday, 21st May 2020 14:17

The EFL has released a statement following yesterday’s board meeting ruling out the proposal to extend the League One play-offs to eight clubs and outlining the options available to clubs to resolve the current impasse.

The Blues are among a number of clubs who want the 2019/20 season played to its conclusion behind closed doors - the approach still favoured by the EFL - but most League One sides are understood to favour ending the season now, largely due to financial concerns.

At Friday's conference call involving the 23 clubs Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony proposed extending the play-offs to eight clubs. The idea appeared to gain traction but has now been ruled out by the EFL in their latest statement.

The EFL board met yesterday to consider the feedback and subsequent implications of last week’s divisional club meetings, as the League continues to address the many complex financial and operational matters resulting out of the Covid-19 crisis, including how the 2019/20 campaign is concluded.

The various proposals and counter-proposals received from clubs have been reviewed and, as a result, the board has finalised the draft framework that would be adopted into EFL regulations, in the event that a division is to make the decision to curtail its season as League Two indicated last Friday. 
Clubs are now required to give the matter further consideration, before the board formally proposes the appropriate regulation changes, which will then be voted on by all clubs. 
The recommended framework is as follows: 
1. Resuming the 2019/20 season with the existing format remains the most appropriate course of action from a sporting integrity perspective, but the board accepts there are circumstances that may lead to curtailment (as has been demonstrated with League Two) or a situation subsequently transpires whereby the season is unable to conclude.  
2. This means that, in the event of an early curtailment:  
a. Final divisional placings should be determined on unweighted points per game (if required).
b. Promotion and relegation should be retained. 
c. Play-offs should be played in all circumstances but should not be extended (beyond four teams).  
3. If a scenario arises whereby the play-offs cannot be played, the EFL board will determine the appropriate course of action.
4. The board considers that the majority required to curtail the 2019/20 season in any division should be 51 per cent. Determining whether or not to curtail the season is a decision for each division to take.  
5. 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, provided we have assurances that the National League will start season 2020/21 (ie the relegated club in League Two has somewhere to play). 
6. 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 chair, 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.”

League One clubs are expected to vote on whether to end the season now or play it to its conclusion next week.

If the division is settled on unweighted points per game, the Blues would finish 11th, their their lowest position since 1952/53 when the Blues, then managed by Scott Duncan, were 16th in Division Three South.

Photo: Contributed

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shaunmahony added 14:29 - May 21
Lowest since 1953 - that truly is depressing - I was born in 54 nearly 66 now - in my lifetime we had 2 of the greatest English managers ever and we climbed the highest mountain - now we are looking up from a very long way down; at least I hope we are looking up and not further down.
Stay safe all.

BlueBadger added 14:41 - May 21
Now that's decided can we get on with sacking our worst-ever manager?

Bert added 14:56 - May 21
Our worst ever manger, Paul Hurst, was sacked about 18 months ago. Our second worst manager, Roy Keane ,was sacked years ago. Paul Lambert may not be the best but he certainly isn't the worst. Not that this has anything to do with the EFL statement !

JaySwitch added 15:04 - May 21
What a time to bring up sacking the manager.. 👏🙄

Edmundo added 15:04 - May 21
Write it off. Then we start again when, and only when, supporters - remember them? - are allowed in. Professional football is for the fans, in the ground, not holed up watching it on tv.

NorthLondonBlue2 added 15:14 - May 21
Play the games, finish the league, keep the faith!

ArnieM added 15:33 - May 21
It’s like pulling bloody teeth watching how the EFL huff n puff their way to a decision !

sixtyblue added 16:10 - May 21
Are season ticket holders being refunded for missing 5 home games.

Mark added 16:22 - May 21
Good. It would have been painful if the play-offs were extended to 10th place and after the weighted points-per-games average we STILL missed out! I would prefer all leagues to be ended now on the points-per-game games basis, confirming Norwich's relegation and leaving Ipswich to reflect on what we do regarding the abysmal state of our results under Lambert.

BartonBluee added 16:36 - May 21
Funny how the mention of sacking anyone else right now during such horrible times would be rightly damned!

But because Paul Lambert happens to be a football manager the same rules don't apply. He is human like the rest of us, have some respect!


Woodbridgian added 16:42 - May 21
Bert : Not sure the results support Lambert being better than Keane. Keane’s win rate was 34.6% compared to Lambert at 26.9% Even Jewell who must be up there in the worst manager race achieved 34.1%. Can’t say I would want any of the but Lamberts record is appalling full stop.

runningout added 16:44 - May 21
Doesn’t really matter who managed us well or not. Let’s start being a professional football club again on and off the pitch. Let us supporters too play our part with more wit and decency. Be safe!

tractorboybig added 16:56 - May 21
Yep ...but get rid of motor mouth and give us a chance of avoiding relegation next season

Nobbysnuts added 17:37 - May 21
Please just end the season now So we can just put it down to a bad dream. In reality we could not of been that sh#t this season could we?

jas0999 added 17:45 - May 21
End it now providing relegation and promotion remains in place.

Our season has been over for a long while.

stiffy501 added 18:32 - May 21
My first choice for our managers job Nigel Clough is available !!!! just saying !!!!

DurhamTownFan added 19:10 - May 21
The current situation is difficult for everyone, but saying we shouldn’t sack someone because of it is silly.

Lambert has no doubt earned plenty to live off during stints as a premier league manager, and would be financially insulated from the current situation. He’s not working in hospitality on minimum wage is he?

If he deserves to go, get rid of him now and start planning early. Personally, I think he lost the dressing room around Christmas when players started speaking out about over-rotating the team.

jonwillpott added 19:25 - May 21
To all those speaking out that Lambert should be sacked....can I remind you that he recently signed a new long term contract so the financial aspect of doing such a thing would cripple our club (even if ME funded it!!). What hope would that give any new manager coming in....we have no funds for new players now let alone after a kick like that. Get real ITFC supporters on here!!

dirtydingusmagee added 20:08 - May 21
Jayswich we have yet to have Bluearmy81,s input [,lol ].

Wickets added 20:08 - May 21
I am not saying that PL should be sacked but i think Phil confirmed that he thought there where performance related markers in our managers new contract that would make it less expensive than many think to sack him . Think i have remembered correctly .

Surco72 added 20:51 - May 21
Lambert is the highest paid manager in the league , he object was promotion , he has taken Ipswich to their lowest position for some considerable years after having three quarters of a season to stop relegation . I can see no improvement on the pitch at all in his time here which is worrying ,still dont think he knows his best team or formation , and he has now got into the habit of losing games and accepting it , not just here but in recent positions also , and now the team have the same mental attitude . Offer the job to Duncan Ferguson at least we would have some fight and passion

Bluearmy_81 added 20:56 - May 21
Thanks mingy. And still some of you focus on the manager... 😂😂😂

Michael101 added 21:23 - May 21
So they want 51% (rule4) to carry the vote. Good luck with that ,numties can't even can't agree what day to vote or who will count the vote (if it ever happens,).

ArnieM added 21:49 - May 21
I think this Five year contract melarkie that Paul Lambert is now on needs to be taken with a massive pinch of salt. I personally cannot see Evans tying his own hands behind his back with a 5 year deal That he couldn’t get out of if things went pear shaped. He is a multimillionaire ( near billionaire), for a good reason. He understands business.

So can we please stop this rubbish that we are tied into a 5 year deal we cant get out of. Of course Marcus Evans has had written specific clauses into it to cover for those pear shaped days . He s not daft.

The question we should be asking is, has a clause been triggered by, the now final outcome, of this season being established ergo we have finished 11th? A shocking outcome from a season that promised so much. The questions of why it went so wrong are multi factorial, but there can be no doubt that Lambert by and large was the instigator of the primary reasons for such a spectacular failure.

Will he survive? I’m not so sure he will , despite a so called 5 year contract!

Zondervantheman added 06:43 - May 22
It’s embarrassing that our once great club will not be gracious and just vote to finish the league as it is. We are now driven by greed as we rely on the gate money to stem our self made losses.
To put us in the same greed category as Portsmouth and Sunderland is not the greedy bracket that I would like to see us in. Reality is if the smaller clubs in league 1 are forced to play these games they just can’t afford to do it and would probably result in more teams going bankrupt..
Do the right thing Town and throw in the towel..
We are not good enough to go up so end the season cut out the dead wood and give youth a go..
Whats the worst that could happen???

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