Tag Archives: EFL

Elite in Premiership could miss out in next seasons Football League Cup

After a delay of three months with the return of the Premiership, there are already people in the football world looking ahead to next season, as and when it will eventually commence.

One hotly debated topic on the agenda will certainly be what is eventually going to happen to cup competitions. With this in mind the League Cup- currently known as the Carabao Cup- could well see the top seven sides from the Premiership missing from the competition.

Due to what is anticipated to be a fixture pile up next season for teams involved in European competitions this could well see the League Cup played without the cream of the Premiership.

It was confirmed only this week that the Champions League and Europa League schedules will run into August, meaning involved teams won’t be able to play League Cup ties as things stand, with the EFL considering a change for the competition.

There are a couple of other possibilities that potentially could be considered. The first would be to do away with the competition for a season.  That would, however, cause financial damage to lower league sides who are already facing a very uncertain future.

Alternately, the EFL could decided on allowing the Premiership sides a chance to play their youth sides- something that Liverpool did against Everton earlier on this season, which didn’t go down well.  Surely, however, that idea would devalue a competition which has lost its appeal for the past few seasons.

In my opinion, I certainly like the idea of the top seven Premiership sides not playing in the Cup next season. This would at least give some club outside Manchester a better chance of cup glory. In six of the last seven seasons the Cup has been won by either City or United, so for footballs sake it would be wonderful to see somebody else raise the cup at Wembley.

In fairness to most of the Premiership sides, well certainly the top eight and sides fighting off relegation-the league cup has always been a distraction for them.

Some people may say that if it does come down to the top seven in the Premiership not being invited to feature in next seasons competition, the League Cup won’t be the same. As I mentioned earlier, this would give a glorious chance to either a lower ranked Premiership side, a club from the Championship or for a wonderful story. How about a lower league club getting to Wembley and lifting the trophy? The money earned from this experience would benefit these clubs more than the Premiership boys and would be something in the history of the club that they will be remembered by, and stay with them for many years.

EFL CLUBs could go bust

While the main topic around the return of football centres on the Premiership, lets take a moment to reflect on finances of clubs down the lower leagues.

Huddersfield Town’s owner Phil Hodgkinson has gone on record to say that up to 60 sides in the EFL could go bankrupt if clubs are required to play in empty stadiums next season.

Hodgkinson said that the domestic football pyramid could be destroyed as a result of the ban placed on supporters attending matches during the current pandemic.

He said recently. “The problem is not whether we finish this season or not, it is what happens after that.” There are clubs I know of that are only still trading because they are deferring wages and tax and other creditors.” There is an absolutely real stark probability that if something isn’t agreed now within football to ensure all clubs can pay their bills and get through to the point where income is resumed, you will be looking at 50 or 60 clubs ceasing to exist.” he warned.

This clearly is worrying times ahead for the lower divisions of the pyramid.  If the game was to continue for clubs in the EFL, it would cost them between £150,000 and £200,000 for testing to get to the end of this season alone.

Will all lower league clubs having to rely on gate receipts, match day sales of leisurewear, shirts, programmes and food and drink along with match day hospitality and sponsorship, it doesn’t need a calculator to work out that it is virtually impossible for clubs to continue without crowds being allowed into grounds to watch the games.

Unlike the Premiership, the TV deal for the EFL is peanuts compared to the big boys of the top league in England. The only feasible solution to help out clubs in the EFL should be to reduce players wages at this unprecedented time sport is going through.

Yes, the players are not to blame, but the reality is that they are part of the solution because if some clubs do go out of business, their contracts won’t get paid by the clubs anyway.

The PFA in consultation with the clubs should put in place salary cuts until such a time as crowds are allowed back into football stadiums.

At this worrying time for all levels of football, surely it is time also for the Premier League to help out their fellow players by dipping into their ever-increasing large revenues and funding the EFL and the Non-League pyramid.

After all, the beautiful game isn’t just about the big clubs, it’s about the smaller ones to. So please let’s not forget them, as I’m sure no football lover in the country would want to see any team fold in these very trying times that we live in.

Article by Peter Moore

What next for the EFL Championship?

The rumblings of if and when football should return continues with Championship side Hull City.

The Tigers emerged as the first club in the second tier of football to oppose a resumption of the season, insisting the campaign must be voided in a letter sent to English Football League chairman Rick Parry.

Ehab Allam, the club’s vice-chairman, has written to Parry and the other 23 clubs in the championship to outline his serious concerns over football’s return amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hull’s other concern is that they are disappointed that a club letter reportedly opposing the resumption of the Championship campaign had been leaked to the media.

The club stated that the correspondence was intended to remain private between the EFL and the other Championship clubs.

In the week that Championship clubs players were due to start coronavirus testing at least twice a week, with the possibility of a return to light training next Monday, news broke that no less than six positive results from over 740 coronavirus tests carried out by the Premier League, including three from Watford, could well back Allam’s message to the rest of the League.

So, in light of this news what impact will this have on other clubs decision when to restart the season. Unlike their counterparts in the two divisions of the football league, one of which has already decided to finish the season- EFL Division Two- Division One are still debating if their season should continue or not, with the likely outcome being to follow suit with Division Two and declaring the season stopped with promotion, play-offs and relegation all decided by PPG.

Whatever the outcome that the Championship sides eventually decide to go with, one scenario they surely can’t go with is to declare the season null and void. This must be the worst way of finishing any season in any sport. Having already played well over three quarters of a season already, you just can’t say to clubs that this is how we will close the season.

It will be grossly unfair on all players to end a long season this way, with no rewards at the end of it. There will always be arguments from different clubs about how to finish a season, but for the sake of football and sport there has to be some conclusion.

Yes, it won’t go down well with every club, however, in my opinion the fairest way of deciding any decision is on a points per game average. There will always be one or two clubs who would vote against this, depending on their current position in the league, but in sport, surely it is about pleasing the highest percentage of clubs.

In these unprecedented times that we are going through at the moment, difficult decisions have to be made by people who have never been put in this awkward position before.

For the sake of football, lets hope whatever decisions are made will be for the good of the game.

Article written by Peter Moore

Is The League One & Two season coming to an end?

Friday saw a very important meeting take place, with all the owners off the respective League One and League Two clubs, as they come to an agreement with what to do with the rest of the 19/20 campaign.

LEAGUE TWO

After a lengthy meeting on Friday, owners off all of the league Two teams decided that the best option for everyone involved was to finish the league two season, and decide the final table on Points Per Game (PPG).

This would mean that Swindon, Crewe And Plymouth Argyle would all be promoted to League One. Unfortunately, this would mean that Stevenage would be relegated to the National League for the first time in a decade. This means, the Play-Offs would be played  just like any other season ( Two Semi-Finals and a Final) to determine who the final promotion spot goes too.

A statement on The League Two Season was released by the EFL on Friday.  Here is what was said:

“Having considered the protocols and costs that would be required to be met to conclude the current season, League Two clubs have unanimously indicated a preferred direction of travel to curtail the campaign in line with the framework outlined by the EFL Board.

In addition, clubs asked for consideration to be given to suspending relegation to the National League for 2019/20 as a result of circumstances created where fixtures cannot be completed. No commitments were made in this respect and the Board will now consider the implications of the division’s preferred approach at their next meeting.”

So, therefore, the vote is subject to approval from the EFL and the FA.

League One

In the same way as League Two, The Owners from all of the respective League One clubs held a meeting to determine what would be the best way to finish the League One Season.   However, they couldn’t come to an agreement on what was best, but IF League One was to be determined using PPG, Coventry & Rotherham would be promoted to the Championship.  Subsequently, Tranmere Rovers, Southend United & Bolton Wanderers would be relegated to League Two.  Just like League Two, however, The Play-Offs would stay the same, (Two Semi-Finals & A Final) to determine the final promotion place.

Here is what the EFL had to say on the League One Season:

“There were varied views shared in League One and it was determined that there would be a further period of reflection and consultation to understand what creative solutions could be implemented. It was acknowledged that the need to find innovative and creative solutions was of paramount importance as was the need for decisions to be taken quickly.” 

There is expected to be an announcement on the League One Season in the next couple of days.

AFC Wimbledon Suspend Wally Downes…

AFC Wimbledon, currently in the bottom 3 of League 1 have today suspended their first team manager Wally Downes until further notice, for a breach of FA Betting rules.

A Club Statement Read:

Club manager Wally Downes has been suspended from first team duties pending further notice.

The club has been informed that Wally has been charged by the FA for Misconduct under FA Rule E1(b) in respect of 8 bets placed on football matches between 30 November 2013 and 12 July 2019.

Given the seriousness of this breach in FA regulations, the club has decided to suspend Wally with immediate effect, giving time for the club and Dons Trust boards to look at the allegations more closely and make a further announcement in due course.

 

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for AFC Wimbledon, who are in the middle of a bad run of form.

Wally Downes was appointed, in December last year and led them against all the odds to survival in League 1, thanks to a last day draw at Bradford City.

The period in question relates to a time when Downes was employed in India with Kerala Blasters during 2016/2017. And carried on during his subsequent appointment as manager for AFC Wimbledon in December 2018.

Prior to his appointment as manager and during his interview process, Downes was quizzed on comments made which related to homophobia on his Twitter account. Though the board were happy with his explanation of these matters and his Twitter account was quickly deleted.

It remains to be seen what the outcome will be. Downes will most likely be aware of the outcome for Joey Barton, now manager at Fleetwood Town; Joey was charged for the same offence and suspended from all football activities for 18 months.