League Two clubs ask for no relegation in frozen season

League Two clubs are moving towards ending the 2019-20 season on a points-per-game basis, but at least one chairman in the division insists it is not a unanimous decision.

The English Football League said fourth-tier sides had “unanimously indicated a preferred direction of travel to curtail the campaign” at their meeting on Friday because of the costs connected to resuming amid the coronavirus pandemic, while League One clubs failed to reach an agreement.

League Two sides agreed the final table should be determined on an unweighted points-per-game basis, the top three should be automatically promoted and the next four should play off for one remaining promotion place.

Crucially, though, the clubs asked the EFL for there to be no relegation, which would mean only National League leaders Barrow coming up because of Bury’s demise last summer.

Forest Green chairman Dale Vince said his club had not wanted to end the season, felt the decision had been rushed and that to block relegation was “all kinds of wrong”.

He told the PA news agency: “It might be that the dominant conversation was from clubs that wanted to (curtail the season), and that somehow swayed their judgement as to what was being said.

“But our chief executive was on the call and we want to play, and he would have said that.”

Vince said it was “hypocrisy” to retain promotion but prevent a National League team coming up.

“At the moment there will be teams who will think they could have made an automatic promotion spot, could have made a play-off spot. It just seems like pass the parcel – the music has stopped and you’ve got what you’ve got,” he said.

“If you’re going to apply a rule that says we’re going to freeze the league where it is, you’ve got to do it top and bottom. It’s all kinds of wrong on the National League.”

The EFL board must now consider the implications of the League Two clubs’ position when it meets on Wednesday.

No agreement was reached in the third tier, who are set to reconvene on Monday.

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