Its Sunday 17th May 2020, in today’s lockdown special show we virtually discuss the future of the leagues in England and how well Blackpool might be positioned to weather COVID-19 storm, we reflect on 2010 Wembley play-off final against Cardiff as unbelievably, the tenth anniversary of the match is this coming Friday… unt ze Bundesliga is back, yah?
1 – The future of the leagues
In a nutshell, the situation at present:
The National League decided to end its three divisions immediately on 22 April but was waiting on the EFL to announce an outcome before deciding on promotion and relegation.League Two’s season has been brought to an early conclusion following discussions between clubs and the English Football League on Friday (14th May).Although it is understood some League Two sides wanted to use a weighted points-per-game system to finalise the table, the EFL has confirmed an unweighted points-per-game system was agreed upon.Both of those methods would have seen Stevenage stay bottom – yet clubs have also requested that relegation from the fourth tier is removed this season.“Clubs asked for consideration to be given to suspending relegation to the National League for 2019-20 as a result of circumstances created where fixtures cannot be completed,” said the EFL in a statement.“No commitments were made in this respect and the board will now consider the implications of the division’s preferred approach at their next meeting.”Any move still needs to be ratified by the EFL and Football Association.But League One sides face further talks after failing to come to an agreement.Six third-tier clubs had said prior to the meeting that they were determined to complete their remaining fixtures – and are now set to meet again on Monday in an attempt to find a resolution.
So from the above, it seems like the clubs are leading the decision making process, which seems a bit weird to me. Surely decisions need to be made by the governing bodies?Read Richard Watt
2 – Blackpool FC is facing severe financial losses as a result of football’s shutdown but is well-placed to come through the crisis.
That’s the view of chief executive Ben Mansford, who says the club is most fortunate to have the backing of owner Simon Sadler.
However, he said the severity of the situation could force clubs out of business.
Bloomfield Road has not opened its doors to spectators since March 10.
The club still has nine outstanding fixtures in a League One season scheduled to end a fortnight ago – five of those games at home.
Asked how that loss of match income was affecting the club, Mansford said: “Clubs in the EFL are certainly more dependent on matchday revenue, especially in League One and League Two.
“We lost probably our most lucrative game of the season against Sunderland 24 hours before it was due to take place (on March 14).
“Also, the club were particularly affected by games against local teams that were scheduled for Saturdays being rearranged for midweek.
“All clubs are really struggling without that income and it does create a big financial hole.
“That lack of income is a real problem for football clubs and businesses in general right now.
“The true nature of the impact will be more definable when we know more about when and how football will return in League One.”
However, Mansford believes the backing of Blackpool-born businessman Sadler will spare the Seasiders the “dire consequences” possibly facing some clubs.
He added: “We are very fortunate to have a very supportive owner in Simon Sadler, although the magnitude of loss that the club is facing is severe.
“We will face some tough decisions, like all clubs and businesses, but some clubs could face dire consequences and potentially go out of business.
“We believe we are in a good position to come through this period in a stable state.”
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Cheers and Up the ‘Pool!
John, Tim, Nick, Matt, Sam & Tom