Chairman of Portsmouth rivals Peterborough makes claim about EFL's stance on finishing season

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Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony reckons the EFL ‘don’t really want us to play’ remaining League One fixtures and favours curtailing the 2019-20 season.

It’s approaching three weeks since EFL members met to discuss how to complete the campaign amid the coronavirus crisis.

The Championship are set to fulfil remaining fixtures with a June 20 restart date identified.

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Meanwhile, League Two clubs have unanimously voted to end their season.

League One sides remain at a deadlock, though, with a decision not likely to be made until Monday, June 8.

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Yet it is looking likely a 51 per cent majority of sides will vote for a curtailment.

Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony. Picture: Mark Thompson/Getty ImagesPeterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony. Picture: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony. Picture: Mark Thompson/Getty Images | 2018 Getty Images

And if that is the case, the EFL’s framework on promotion, relegation and a four-team play-offs via an unweighted points-per-game formula will kick in.

The EFL has said it would rather finish the campaign as planned.

But MacAnthony reckons the league wants to ‘have the thing be done’.

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Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: ‘Everything is so frustrating. I own a football club, we want to play football and I will always vote on the side of football.

‘Three weeks ago, we had a meeting where we were told to come up with some proposals for the teams that want to finish the season and those that don’t.

‘During that meeting, we came up with maybe going to the PFA to pay for testing kits for the clubs who don’t have the money to start up again, could we come up with ways to train while we’re on furlough – all these ideas we came up with as owners.

‘Three weeks have gone by and now you think “the EFL don’t really want us to play, they just want the play-offs and have the thing be done”.

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‘The Championship are playing, the Premier League are playing and leagues are opening up all over the world.

‘We’re finally kicking this virus’ backside so it’s not so much of a health issue now playing football.

‘Tuesday by 2pm was the deadline for more proposals to go in and Monday will be things tabled for discussion and a multiple vote.

‘It’s dragged on for far too long and it’s been frustrating it’s gone on for almost three weeks.

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‘I’m not having a dig at (EFL chairman) Rick Parry, he’s got a tough, tough job in horrible circumstances because of the virus.

‘But I just feel a lot of stuff could have been done in the past three weeks.’

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios yesterday submitted his proposal – a statistical ‘margin for error’ in a points-per-game system – to the EFL.

Pompey would finish fifth in an unweighted points-per-game model and play Oxford in any subsequent play-off semi-final.

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The winners would face either Wycombe or Fleetwood to join Coventry and Rotherham in the Championship.

Tranmere's proposal includes points per game but adds in a margin of error, whereby teams can only be automatically promoted or relegated if they remain in a promotion/relegation position after the margin of error is applied from the previous three seasons.

If that was the case, Coventry would go up automatically before eight teams would compete in a mini-tournament for the remaining two spots.

Peterborough would be included in that scenario - and MacAnthony reckons it’s a fair solution.

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He added: ‘Mark Palios has submitted a new proposal yesterday and submitted changes to regulation 9A.

‘It’s not a bad proposal and is fair. It gives everyone a chance to opt-in or opt-out and clubs that don’t want to play don’t have to.

‘Coventry would go up and there would be two remaining promotion spots.

‘The clubs that do want to carry on, and there would be a good eight or nine, get to play some sort of a mini-tournament.’

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