Blackpool say League One clubs will vote to end the season
Next week’s crucial EFL meeting about how to resolve the season has been pushed back 24 hours but Blackpool believe the League One clubs will vote not to play on.
The Seasiders feel their competition has “drifted”, leaving insufficient time to complete all fixtures.
And with the costs of playing another massive factor, Blackpool are convinced the majority vote will be to stage no more League One matches this season beyond the three promotion play-off games.
Chief executive Ben Mansford said the club were still weighing up all options when he spoke to The Gazette recently, but this week he told BBC Radio Lancashire: “I don’t think League One can finish.
“If we decide to return, you need seven days to go through the testing protocols to allow everyone to return, players and staff. You then need 21 days to work on fitness because you have seen the amount of muscle injuries players in the Bundesliga are suffering because they have not been able to do much contact work. Then the EFL have said you need 56 days to finish the season with play-offs.
“The contracts of players end on June 30 and it’s very difficult for League One and League Two clubs to extend contracts beyond July 31. I think the reality is League One will vote to finish.”
A meeting of all EFL clubs to vote on the league’s proposals for resolving the season via points-per-game averages was due to take place on Monday, though this is now set for Tuesday next week. Amendments to the proposals have been tabled by clubs.
League One clubs will vote alongside those from the other two EFL competitions on these proposals. League One will also vote separately on whether to complete its own fixtures.
Mansford added: “I think League One has just drifted. There are some bigger, vocal clubs like Peterborough and Sunderland campaigning to finish and there are some lower clubs for whom the cost of £400,000-£500,000 (to play on) is extremely prohibitive.
“I think the financial realities of coming back probably mean 12 out of 23 (a majority of League One clubs) will vote to end the season now.”
On Wednesday evening the EFL issued a statement to convene next week's meeting. It reads: "The EFL Board met today and considered a number of proposals submitted by EFL Clubs in respect of proposed amendments to EFL Regulations in order to determine what will happen in the event the 2019/20 season is curtailed in any EFL Division.
"This now brings an end to a comprehensive consultation phase and Clubs have today received formal notice of the meeting which will now take place on Tuesday 9 June 2020.
"At that meeting Clubs will consider a number of different proposals from both Clubs and the Board of the EFL."