WHILE there appears no chance of reaching a consensus among Sky Bet League One clubs over how the season should end, the pendulum does seem to be swinging toward one direction.

If, as expected, members across the EFL approve the principle of changing their regulations, each division will vote on their fate.

It is unlikely to happen until next week, but when it does a simple 51 per cent majority is needed to decide the way ahead.

Bury’s demise, making an odd number of votes, at least means the third tier cannot be deadlocked.

Also read: Deadline looms for EFL clubs to submit ideas on ending season

Last week a quarter of the division had yet to make up their mind as those who wanted to play on just outnumbered the clubs backing a curtailment.

But after checking again with their clubs, the writers covering League One have shown a shifting in the position to the point where it now looks likely the division will vote to scrap the remaining games.



The U’s have been consistent throughout that completing the games was the fairest approach, providing conditions are safe.

Managing director Niall McWilliams said: “The EFL has asked clubs to give their views and ours will categorically be ‘let’s play’.”


Pompey are another who have been unwavering in their approach.

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: “It’s a difficult situation but we continue to press with a number of other clubs to actually finish the season on the pitch, under government guidelines and when safe to do so.”


Joey Barton, pictured, has championed the resumption of fixtures, though their play-off place is secured.

Oxford Mail:

“We have to return to normality because if we don’t, then at some point the economy will fail and the football economy is already creaking now,” he said.

“We’ve got to get moving is my take. I’m happy to take that calculated risk based on everything I’ve been told about testing and about the distancing in place.

“If we don’t get back moving what are we going to do? Just sit and stay in our house and watch people go out of business?”


Darragh MacAnthony has been among the most vocal on the subject and remains firmly of the belief football should be resumed when safe to do so.

He has, however, withdrawn his threat to take legal action against clubs who vote to end the season.

Also read: Oxford United's training return is still up in the air

He said: “I was tired last week when I made those comments about suing other clubs. It’s not something we will be doing.”


The Black Cats can only be promoted in one scenario, and that’s if the season is completed on the pitch.

The club’s CEO also believes his players want to resume competitive football to prove they can earn contracts for next season.

Jim Rodwell told talkSPORT: “In League One and League Two we’ve got hundreds of players out of contract.

“Those players need to play the last eight, nine games to showcase their talent and earn contracts.”


Any lingering hopes of breaking into an expanded play-off tournament appear to have been dashed but the club is likely to stick to their guns.


There have been some mixed messages from the Gills with manager Steve Evans happy to play on but chairman Paul Scally concerned about how much it will cost.

The club would certainly be happy to continue if some financial assistance was provided.


There is a desire to give manager Ben Garner more games to continue his adaptation into League One ahead of next season, which will also give him greater clarity in assessing his squad before the transfer window.

That being said, there remains an obvious concern with the potential financial issues faced by others in the division.


Chairman Mark Palios has vowed to fight any decision to decide the season on points per game, which would relegate his club.

“It is a hard-earned League One status that we will not just give away. It is more than the cash,” he said.

“It is actually the pride of being a League One club. It is having the games against the likes, with all due respect to League Two, of Sunderland and Ipswich. That is what all the fans actually like."



Coventry are deservedly in pole position and, unsurprisingly, they won’t want to risk that by resuming.

“We believe that the situation should be dealt with the same way as a number of other countries have,” said CEO Dave Boddy.

“France have produced a final table on average points per game and I believe Scotland have done something similar, so the mechanism is there.”


Unsurprisingly with the Millers second and set for automatic promotion, they are happy to call it quits.

Oxford Mail:

Manager Paul Warne said: “I think that any team who was in our or Coventry’s position would expect and demand an automatic promotion. There’s no owner out there who would say: ‘Well, if we were second we would rather play on.’ Why would you risk your automatic position?”


While manager Gareth Ainsworth would ideally like to win promotion on the pitch, he accepts his view is unlikely to be shared by new owner Rob Couhig, especially given Wycombe would secure third spot if points-per-game was applied.

“Costs and finances are a huge concern, for my owner included,” he said.

“From my own competitive point of view, give me the 10 games remaining because I think we’ll finish in the automatics at least.

“But it has to be safe, and we cannot be putting clubs out of business.

“We want to play but if it doesn’t make sense financially I understand my owner’s position.”


While Burton’s chairman Ben Robinson is sympathetic to those in the play-off positions, he feels his club do not need the extra cost of playing the remaining nine games.

“For me, now I know what the impact would be, there is only one option and that is to void the season,” he added.


There hasn’t been much official word come from Bloomfield Road on the matter, but all logic points to them voting to end the season, with little chance of promotion on the cards.


There has been a shift in the Imps’ stance, with chairman Clive Nates engaging Peterborough’s owner Darragh MacAnthony on the matter via twitter.

He wrote: “It has become clear over the last couple of weeks that the mood among clubs and from the EFL has changed as the reality of the situation has hit home. Just appears to be too many obstacles to complete the season by 31 July.”


Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has suggested completing the remaining fixtures could cost his club £500,000 and so there is no desire on their behalf to start again.

He said: “It is financial suicide for any club to gamble. Some of the clubs at the top end of the league are happy to gamble half-a-million pounds in order to facilitate the remaining games.”


“When the time comes, if ending the season now is on the list, we will be voting for it” – Stanley’s chairman Andy Holt tweeted.

He has also been critical about some of the rallying and chest-beating which has been going on at League One level and the fact clubs will have to fund their own COVID-19 testing.


CEO David Bottomley believes that the timescale is too tight and has also voiced concerns about the costs of COVID-19 testing and social distancing when travelling to away fixtures.


CEO Joe Palmer believes the season is “moving towards cancellation” and the club has issued a statement outlining their preference for the season to be concluded early, citing health and safety was their priority, although they do have sympathy with clubs who want to play on.


Blues chairman Ron Martin’s preferred option would have been to see the season declared null and void – but with that seemingly off the table it appears ending the campaign now would be the next logical choice.

They are 16 points from safety and effectively relegated in any scenario.


Some might say Bolton were lucky to be starting the 2019/20 campaign – even with a 12-point deduction for going into administration – but they have rarely looked like climbing out of the bottom three and sit 21 points adrift of safety with 10 games to play.

The club has maintained in public that they would bide by the EFL’s decision and now, pressed for a decision, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess which way they will go.



Playing on is likely to cost Doncaster Rovers in excess of £165,000 for COVID-19 testing alone and they also stand to miss out on around £400,000 in gate receipts.

The club has remained neutral over the last couple of months and look set to continue on that path to the end.


CEO Andrew Cullen says sporting integrity was already damaged by what happened with Bolton and Bury earlier this season – but that his club would side with the majority in the vote.

He said: “Our position all along as been that we’ll be consistent with what the league wants to do.”