Promotion solution good, wise and unbiased, says Millers chairman

Promotion solution good, wise and unbiased, says Millers chairman

By David Beddows | 11/06/2020

Promotion solution good, wise and unbiased, says Millers chairman
Tony Stewart at AESSEAL New York Stadium this week. Picture by DAVE POUCHER


ROTHERHAM United have hailed a victory for common sense after the club's promotion back to the Championship was finally confirmed.

Chairman Tony Stewart praised a “wise” and “good” decision following the EFL clubs' vote to end the regular season on an average points per game calculation in the wake of matches being suspended three months ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The final vote to finish was by a large majority and there were only four objections out of the 23 League One clubs.

The ruling sees Rotherham go up automatically with champions Coventry, with Wycombe, Oxford, Portsmouth and Fleetwood contesting the play-offs, but it has been met with criticism from the teams worst effected.

The calculation meant Peterborough dropped out of the play-offs, with Wycombe jumping from eighth to third to take their place.

Tranmere drop into League Two with Bolton and Southend despite tabling an amendment that involved an eight-team play-off and final positions to be decided on a points average containing a “margin for error” based on results over the last three seasons.

After congratulating manager Paul Warne and his staff on the club's second promotion in three years, Stewart told the Advertiser: “I acknowledge the Football League had a hard job. They had never been in this position before and decisions had to be made. There were going to be winners and losers.

“I'm glad common sense prevailed and here we are now with Coventry and Rotherham one and two and the play-offs to come.

“The other suggestions from Peterborough, Tranmere and from Barnsley went against what was the normal practice. It seemed odd that people, for their own personal benefit, were choosing a direction which obviously suited their course which was stark and unbelievable.

“The Tranmere one wanted Coventry promoted and eight in the play-offs with nobody relegated.

“Tuesday's meeting was quite tempestuous. People were jumping in with their thoughts and ideas. It was a meeting the like of which we haven't seen in the past.

“It was decision time and whether we were going to formulate a decision and it came back to basics in the end.

“For me, the only unbiased proposition put forward (to end the season by way of PPG) came from the Football League and thankfully the vote was carried.”

Stewart is now looking forward to another crack at the Championship but intends savouring the satisfaction of what is his fourth promotion in 12 years as chairman. 

He added: “We are still high, we are still coming down to earth and I think we will be on a high going into the weekend maybe because this has been a long time coming.

“I always say, enjoy good news, bathe in it, because it is what we all like."

Stewart says promotion is reward for some smart thinking from Paul Warne and his staff plus one of the tightest dressing rooms around.

“There is a lot to be said as regards the manager, staffing and coaching here,”he added.

“You have to include the recruitment as well because it is more severe and intense and has a lot of intelligence to it and attention to detail as regards the type of player we want, the position we want and what you're looking at from the player coming in as against the player you've already got.

“We also have a set of lads who are hard-working, passionate and loyal to the cause. There are no hidden agendas. It's good, it's healthy and it can breathe. It's a lovely atmosphere to be in. Everyone is bright and breezy. There is a spring in people's steps and a positivity about it.

“Rotherham United is a lovely place at the moment and although it is a shame the virus is still going on, business and football has to go on.”