Imps To Favour Ending Season Under These Circumstances

The release of notes from the last Supporter’s Board meeting has revealed the club are in favour of ending the season prematurely if certain criteria can’t be met.

It has always been the club’s stance that the season should be ended in some form or another, but as discussed with the SB last week, it is now seeming likely the club will vote to end the season and revert to a points per game basis. The same method has been used to award Celtic the SPFL title, and relegate Hearts.

In the notes, it is stated that ‘Lincoln City FC would vote in favour of curtailing the season if the various challenges in resuming are not
overcome’. Those challenges are also laid out for supporters, with health and safety of all involved, cost of testing those involved and concerns regarding the sporting integrity for games beyond 30 June all factors to consider. That means the uncertain contract situation for some players and teams, as well as the implications for clubs with nothing to play for. It would be likely that midtable sides with a handful of dead rubbers to play could field youth teams and weakened sides to avoid incurring extra costs, further damaging the sporting integrity of a league beset with problems from the very start this season.

The notes also put on record that ‘ending the season on a points per game (home and away) basis is the Club’s preference’ if such an artificial
mechanism be required. One of the issues facing the club would be the testing needed for coronavirus should the season restart, something which would cost between £125,000 and £140,000. Other significant costs to the club include possible season ticket refunds, loss of matchday revenue and other matchday income. All in all, it means the Imps are likely to lose out on £900,000 of revenue which had previously been expected to come in.

The challenges outside financial implications are numerous, including the extra pressure playing might impose upon medical staff, who are still needed in key areas across the country. Each game needs a certain number of trained professionals on hand, many of which are also NHS staff currently working around the clock not just with the virus impact, but also picking up the extra work that has gathered whilst focus has been elsewhere. There is also the safety of players to consider, with diabetic Ben Coker recently mentioning how a restart could seriously affect him and players in his position. Again, how could the league restart if some players felt unable to take part? Where is the sporting integrity there?

Both Liam Scully and Clive Nates had desperately wanted to finish the season in some form, if possible, and a rebel alliance of six clubs are still pushing for such an outcome. However, with League Two officially over, surely the EFL’s integrity would be compromised if there were any other mechanisms than one that matched the fourth tier used?

 

6 Comments

  1. Can’t argue with this. The fairest, most socially responsible and most economical response is to terminate the season now, with points per game determining teams’ respective finishing positions.

  2. It is a long awaited and inevitable decision that season will be ceased and positions decided on ppg basis. Maybe that decision will be confirmed this week. However I struggle to understand how it is deemed safe to still have the playoffs – maybe even 8 teams. Just promote team in 3rd

    • Agree. Ppg is fairest and most sensible option. Especially economically for most of the clubs at this level…
      As for the playoffs it make sense too. How is it safe ?
      1. It would be behind closed doors.
      2.It would be only few games so if Bundesliga can play all their remaining fixtures, PL possibly will follow soon too then it is fair to say that playoffs should not be a problem.
      3. There won’t be obviously any fans and for young ,strong and healthy people,especially athletes like professional footballers this virus isn’t really a big threat is it ?
      4. Despite point 3 they all will be still well looked after so yes , it will be safe…

  3. Wiith this situation being unique I feel that the 75% rule within the EFL voting system is suspended and if there is another vote. Decision taken on a majority. Either that or the EFL rule that League one season is over. Surely even allowing the play offs could be problematic. Damned if you do, damned if you dont. UTI

  4. I can’t understand the ‘dragging of heels’ over all this and why separate divisions can singularly decide upon a cause of action and then go through with it, like League Two. The EFL should have just gone ‘right, this is what is happening’ and informed the clubs, rather than this ridiculous namby-pambying. Just end the season now on PPG, make a definite decision on relegation/promotion, scrap the play-offs or decide on the fairest solution, and focus on getting next season started.

  5. One further thought. At present the EFL is operating with only 71 clubs due to Bury’s sad demise. So are we to see an extra club promoted from the National League this season and a corresponding adjustment between Leagues 1 and 2? Having an odd number of clubs in League 1 this season has been unsatisfactory (and costly) for clubs who have each had to miss some regular Saturday games because of Bury’s absence.

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