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We’re going up as PPG Champions?
Friday, 15th May 2020 21:39 by Tim Whelan

The EFL have confirmed that if we can’t finish the season on the pitch then the final league tables will be decided by an unweighted points-per-game system. But it still remains to be seen if promotion and relegation will happen if the Premier League can’t play their own games.

We’d already heard some details of yesterday’s EFL meeting thanks to Phil Hay, and today the League issued an official update on what they decided.

"The rationale for playing the remaining matches has been fully debated with a particular focus on the issues COVID-19 has created in respect of health and wellbeing, ongoing testing requirements, player registration issues and the financial burdens Clubs already face at this difficult time.

"In the event of a curtailment of the season, the EFL Board outlined how this could be addressed through a framework that includes maintaining the principle of promotion and relegation, league tables to be determined via unweighted points per game (PPG) and Play-Offs to remain in every division to determine the final promotion place.

"In addition, Championship clubs met earlier this week and have indicated that it is their wish to play on and conclude the season. The EFL will continue to work with all its members to progress the discussions and arrive at the necessary decisions as appropriate in what remain challenging and complex circumstances."

The PPG system will of course leave us at the top of the table, so it looks like the only way we would not end up in an automatic promotion spot would be if we were able to play all the remaining games but somehow managed to drop enough points to blow our seven point lead over third place.

Though if the season did restart we would have to make sure we remained in the top two all the way through. At any point there could be a second spike in C-19 cases which would cause football to stop again, so the revised league table at the point we managed to get to would then become the final one on which promotion could be decided.

The EFL asked the clubs in each division to vote on their preferred means of completing the season, and while the Championship clubs are keen to play on, League Two voted to finish now. The reason being that the more financially challenged clubs in that division are less able to afford the costs of all the testing and have more players who will be out of contract at the end of June.

League One clubs were in between, and have yet to come to a decision one way or the other. A group of clubs are very keen to play on, and it’s no surprise this includes the likes of Ipswich, who are just outside the play-off positions and desperately want the chances to get into them by the end of the season.

Although the EFL have decided that promotion can be decided on a PPG basis if necessary, we’d still have to get the Premier League to agree, and as we know, the clubs near the bottom are looking for any excuse they can find to get relegation scrapped. Today Troy Deeney was the latest player at a club facing the drop to pop up in the media to criticise the plans for ‘project restart’.

He has taken to Instagram to say “I am not even talking about football at the moment — I am talking about my family’s health and that is it. If I feel that I’m not looking after my family then I’m not going to do it. I am not going to put my family at risk.” And it’s a bit of a concern that he claims to have been speaking to players from other clubs, when the Premier League have promised to consult the PFA before any final decision on resuming the season.

Deeney continued “At corners, Watford have 11 men back so you’re talking about having 18 or 19 men in a penalty area. That’s not social distancing. They’re the kind of questions people have been asking but we haven’t had the best answers at the moment. Not because people don’t want to give you the answers, it’s because they can’t give you the answers."

But the views of the whingeing players got no sympathy from Joey Barton’s twitter account. “Glenn Murray and Troy Deeney are in a relegation scrap. If they don’t want to play, I understand it. Don’t play then. Stay at home. There will be a lot of young players at Brighton/Watford, desperate for an opportunity and who will fight to save their respective clubs”

Well said Joey, you can be very sensible when you want to be. Hopefully the football authorities will be equally dismissive of Murray and Deeney, so we can finish the season and get Leeds promoted.


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