English League 2 clubs agree to end season

Crewe Alexandra were top of League 2 when the football season was halted. (Facebook pic/EFL)

LONDON: English League Two clubs agreed on Friday to bring an end to the regular season following discussions with league bosses.

The fourth-tier sides gathered by conference call to discuss their options, with football at a standstill due to the coronavirus.

Clubs said they had agreed the division’s final table was set to be decided using a points-per-game method.

There are still plans for the play-offs to take place but clubs have asked that no team be relegated to the National League.

Any decisions would require the ratification of the English Football League and the Football Association.

Crewe Alexandra were top of League Two when the season was halted, with Swindon Town and Plymouth in the other two automatic promotion places.

An EFL statement 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.”

Swindon manager Richie Wellens tweeted: “Even more good news today. Great day.”

Stevenage were bottom and occupied the sole relegation slot.

Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace said finishing the season would cost each club around £400,000, including the expense of testing for Covid-19.

“At a time when you are staring bankruptcy in the face you can probably appreciate finding a solution that does not involve paying £400,000 per club and ending the season is quite a good way to go,” he said.

Teams in League One failed to come to a definitive agreement.

The EFL statement added there were “varied views shared in League One”, with “a further period of reflection needed”.

Six third-tier clubs said on Thursday they were opposed to ending the season now on a points-per-game basis.

Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony tweeted on Thursday: “We as a collective are united in our goal to finish this season.”