League One clubs are set to remain engulfed by uncertainty for more than a week as prospects of the third tier resuming this season continue to recede.
English Football League clubs will meet on Monday with the intention of approving the league’s new mechanism for ending a campaign early in the event of the coronavirus pandemic ruling out the possibility of a normal conclusion.
Shortly after this framework is approved – possibly a day or so later – League One clubs will then be able to vote on whether to restart their suspended fixture list or call things to a halt.
While League Two has already opted to curtail the campaign and the Championship is committed to restarting full contact training next week before a return to playing around 20 June, the situation remains infinitely more messy in the third tier.
Before a resolution can be reached, clubs must approve the legally binding regulatory framework for concluding a season prematurely. This scaffolding will offer the EFL protection from potential legal action on the part of individual clubs by creating clearcut rules on key issues including promotion, relegation and play-offs.
“A decision on whether or not to curtail the season is a matter to be considered by clubs in any affected division, but only once a framework for resolving open issues in such circumstances has been agreed by all members across all divisions through a regulation change,” the EFL said in a statement.
During a board meeting this week the EFL unanimously agreed a framework but clubs have until Tuesday to submit any alternative proposals. Then, after the meeting on Monday, League One clubs will finally be able to vote on the fate of this season. A 51% majority is required if the campaign is to be curtailed.
Under the EFL’s framework, unweighted points per game would determine the final league table in the event of non completion of the season in any of its three divisions. However, League One clubs in particular are deeply divided about this system and, so far at least, achieving any sort of consensus has proved a struggle.