"Wrong" to promote Rotherham United, says Peterborough's Barry Fry

"Wrong" to promote Rotherham United, says Peterborough's Barry Fry

By Paul Davis | 18/05/2020

'Wrong' to promote Rotherham United, says Peterborough's Barry Fry
Barry Fry


A LEADING figure at the club leading the push for the League One season to continue in the face of coronavirus has claimed it would be "wrong" to promote Rotherham United.

Peterborough United director of football Barry Fry says he could accept leaders Coventry City going up if the campaign is called off but not the second-placed Millers.

"I know the EFL want to promote Coventry and Rotherham and then have play-offs," he told the Peterborough Evening Telegraph. "I can just about see why Coventry would be allowed to go up, but promoting Rotherham would be wrong.

"They are only two points ahead of two teams and three points ahead of four other teams. Ourselves and Oxford have a better goal difference. Rotherham might go on and finish second if we played the season out but, equally, they might finish eighth."

Fry says third-tier clubs won't be asked to vote again on an outcome to the season until after an EFL board meeting on Wednesday.

Peterborough were in the sixth and final play-off place when football was shut down in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are three points behind the Millers, with both side having played 35 of their scheduled 44 fixtures.

League One clubs failed to make any decisions at a meeting last Friday, with Posh, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Fleetwood Town, Sunderland and Ipswich Town - branded "the Magic Six" by Rotherham chairman Tony Stewart - applying pressure for the season to go on.

Some clubs in the division don't want to return because of the financial and health and safety implications.

If the regular season is called off and the standings are decided on sporting merit, Peterborough would need a weighted points-per-game system (home and away form taken into account) to be approved to finish in the play-off places.

A straight points-per-game formula, as League Two clubs have already chosen to adopt, would drop them out of the top six.

"The League One season will not be declared null and void,” Fry said. "Promotions will be granted. There will be play-offs, but as yet the League One clubs can’t agree on the way forward.

"The EFL board are meeting on Wednesday. They will then present the possible scenarios to the clubs and we will then vote on them later in the week, probably on Friday.

"My fear is the EFL deciding League One should follow what League Two have done, but that would be wrong as Rick Parry (EFL chairman) has said the Championship, League One and League Two clubs can make their own decisions.

"Different play-off proposals have been made as well. Our chairman has suggested eight teams could be involved, but we will just have to wait and see what happens.

"Obviously a weighted points-per-game suits us if we can’t play on. It’s also a lot fairer than a straight points-per-game formula."

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