Portsmouth chief Mark Catlin fears clubs now favour scrapping League One season

Mark Catlin believes clubs are ‘tipping the balance’ towards scrapping the League One season.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 12:38 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 1:21 pm
Mark Catlin believes opinion now favours scrapping the League One season. But play-off option remains strong. Picture: Joe Pepler

Although a play-off campaign remains firmly on the table and the most realistic outcome.

Pompey’s chief executive feels opinion among members has tilted towards not resuming the League One campaign.

That would follow the example of League Two, who on Friday unanimously voted to end the season, yet stage a four-team play-off – with places calculated on unweighted points per game.

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And, in a talkSPORT interview with Jim White and Simon Jordan, Catlin admitted there’s also not the appetite to fulfil League One’s remaining fixtures.

He today told talkSPORT: ‘I am firmly with Darragh (MacAnthony) and quite a few other clubs that we have to do everything we can to try to finish this season. The Premier League and Championship of doing it.

‘But I do understand the financial plight of clubs, especially smaller clubs in the lower half of the league.

‘Their costs in testing and their costs of taking players off furlough are more or less exactly the same as clubs at the top, but we have a bigger cost base and, as a result of recommencing, the potential upside of that is better for us.

‘Opinion I would say is split. Those that want to call it a day at the moment probably just about tip the balance in calling the season off.

‘Then you obviously go down the play-offs route, like League Two.

‘What quite a few clubs are trying to do, at the invite of the EFL, is look at some solutions.

‘You have heard it all out there, the mini tournaments, various ways and means of trying to finish the season.

‘Will it succeed? I really don’t know because there just isn’t a consensus in League One.’

The Football League are expected to meet on Wednesday, maintaining their regular weekly dialogue.

Following that, League One members will reconvene on Thursday or Friday to discuss their latest stance.

Catlin added: ‘By not completing this season, what we are actually doing is setting a precedent for next season.

‘The pre-season is due to start in a few weeks. There are those saying why are we taking players off furlough? Look at the financial losses we are potentially risking by carrying on now.

‘Well, is that not going to apply in a few weeks?

‘I think we have to make a concerted effort to try to kickstart League One.’