Boost for Rotherham United promotion hopes

Boost for Rotherham United promotion hopes

By | 21/05/2020

Boost for Rotherham United promotion hopes
Paul Warne

ROTHERHAM United today took a step closer to automatic promotion as the EFL confirmed they want League One standings to be decided by a points-per-game formula if the season ends now.

Third-tier sides will vote on whether to see out the campaign or opt for an unweighted PPG scenario which would see the second-placed Millers go up with leaders Coventry City and the next four sides take part in play-offs for the third promotion spot.

Clubs have until late Tuesday afternoon to voice their opinions so there will be no poll until next week.

Football has been shut down since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Teams like Peterborough United and Fleetwood Town, who are in the top six, have called for the season to resume but other clubs are thought to favour no return to action because of health and financial concerns.

If clubs approve the EFL recommendations, Peterborough will drop out of the play-off zone into seventh place. Their suggestion of an eight-team play-off system has been rejected by the EFL.

Fifty-one per cent of sides need to agree to stop playing now for the unweighted PPG option to come into force. The clubs in the bottom three would be relegated.

Millers manager Paul Warne said in this week's Advertiser that he thinks promotion via PPG is the fairest and safest option available.

An EFL statement this afternoon said:

"The recommended framework is as follows: 

"1. Resuming the 2019/20 season with the existing format remains the most appropriate course of action from a sporting integrity perspective, but the Board accept there are circumstances that may lead to curtailment (as has been demonstrated with League Two) or a situation subsequently transpires whereby the season is unable to conclude.  

"2. This means that, in the event of an early curtailment:  

"a. Final divisional placings should be determined on unweighted points per game (if required).

"b. Promotion and relegation should be retained. 

"c. Play-offs should be played in all circumstances but should not be extended (beyond four teams).  

"3. If a scenario arises whereby the play-offs cannot be played, the EFL Board will determine the appropriate course of action.

"4. The Board considers that the majority required to curtail the 2019/20 season in any division should be 51 pc. Determining whether or not to curtail the season is a decision for each division to take.  

"5. The principle of relegation across all three divisions is integral to the integrity of the pyramid, from the Premier League down to the National League, provided we have assurances that the National League will start season 2020/21 (ie the relegated club in League Two have somewhere to play). "

EFL chairman Rick Parry said: "The Board has always acknowledged that a single solution to satisfy all Clubs would always be hard to find, but we are at the point now where strong, definitive action is need for the good of the League and its members."

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