The points per game model has been suggested as a possible end to the season, with this article from a month ago putting forward possible league tables.
I’m not suggesting this is how the season will finish, I don’t know and I certainly won’t be putting sensationalist headlines like ‘this is where your club could finish’, but I’ve done a little bit of work around the PPG model this weekend. Well, it’s still too wet to do the first treatment on my log cabin, so what else is there?
Firstly, why? If it isn’t speculation, then why? I firmly believe the season has to come to a conclusion, rather than being voided. Joe Morrell did play for Lincoln City, we did beat Ipswich 5-3; these things matter. We can’t just go ‘f*ck it, we’re done’, no matter how much Manchester United fans would love to see that happen. We have to finish and even if there are no play-offs and just promotion and relegation in automatic spots, so be it.
I can’t see games happening in front of crowds and being honest, I’m not sure even behind closed doors will happen. Imagine the strain on NHS staff required at games, just to cover in case a player got injured. How bad would the tabloids take that, football stealing from the pandemic just to get games played? Also, where do you stop? Do you not play dead rubbers? Are they all played at a neutral ground? How far into June or July do we go, disrupting next season?
That’s why PPG has appealed to me from the start, but it seemed unlikely a month ago. I think it feels more like a solution now, which is why I’ve put this work in. I retweeted The Real EFL article I wrote earlier today for context, but someone pointed out on Twitter that the flaw in the PPG model is that it doesn’t account for home and away games. That’s quite correct, which is why I’ve worked out the PPG for each of the clubs in our division, home and away, and then worked out a total based on their remaining games. I shall contrast this with the PPG model that simply awards based on the number of games currently.
Assuming the top two go up, we’d say goodbye to Coventry and Rotherham, with Tranmere, Southend and Bolton going down. I have read somewhere that they may make way for no relegation and increase the number of fixtures, but that wouldn’t really be fair. Southend and Bolton have been doomed all season and remember Tranmere do have a big win against Bolton kids in that total, so have less grounds for claiming things are not ‘fair’.
We’d finish 16th, a half-decent finish given the turbulent season, four wins clear of the bottom three. Also, notice that by this model Peterborough wouldn’t finish in a top-six spot, which Darragh MacAnthony said would cause him to resign. He might be a bit happier with a system that took home and away games into consideration though; his side would finish fourth under that model.
|PPG||PPG||Home||Away||Total PPG||Goal diff||Total Points|
|19||Milton Keynes Dons||1.56||0.53||4||5||9||-11||46|
That’s the only real change to the overall table though. We’d rise one place, not that it matters, by virtue of having a good home record and more home games left to play than away. Tranmere would still be relegated, but of course, no simulation could adequate predict the outcome of their game against Wimbledon, a game that if they won might put them in the driving seat to stay up.
The truth is this: nobody knows what will happen, but PPG is one method which could settle the season.