Pompey likely to handed play-off spot as EFL flexes its muscles

PORTSMOUTH will end up in the League One play-offs this summer if the regular season ends without a ball being kicked, and the English Football League board’s recommendations to clubs are accepted.

The EFL wants promotion and relegation from the three divisions below the Premier League to be upheld, with play-offs in League One, the Championship, and League Two played.

With 51 per cent of League One clubs needed to support the ruling that the season is effectively curtailed with immediate effect, Pompey’s hopes that all games can still be played appears unlikely. And chief executive Mark Catlin’s desire that if the season ends then it should be voided also looks a non-starter, with the EFL wanting the requisite number of clubs to be promoted and relegated.

While Portsmouth would miss out on automatic promotion based on the points-per-game, PPG, model to predict the outcome of the final games of the season, they would be involved in the play-offs, which would not be extended, so likely ruling Sunderland and Peterborough United out of the end of season promotion chase.

“In the event a divisional decision is made to curtail the 2019-20 season, the EFL board is recommending that the League adopts the original framework with the amendments as identified, as there is a strong desire to remain as faithful as possible to the regulations and ensure there is consistency in the approach adopted across the EFL in all divisions,” EFL chairman Rick Parry said.

“The board has always acknowledged that a single solution to satisfy all clubs would always be hard to find, but we are at the point now where strong, definitive action is need for the good of the League and its members.”

Talks regarding how League One will end are continuing this week, with Pompey lining up alongside Sunderland, Peterborough United, Oxford United, Fleetwood Town and Ipswich Town in wanting a way found for the fixtures to be played. They will need the support of a further six clubs to keep their hopes of playing the remaining games alive.