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Shrewsbury Town wait for EFL solution

By Matt Maher | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell believes a ‘creative compromise’ may be required to determine the League One season.

Shrewsbury Town Chief Executive Brian Caldwell

Clubs in the third tier were due to meet again today after failing to reach agreement last week on how best to conclude the campaign.

Town, who sat 16th in the table when the season was halted by the coronavirus, are among a majority of clubs ready to vote on bringing it to a premature end.

But there has been staunch opposition from at least six clubs in the race for promotion and the play-offs who remain in favour of completing the season.

With just one point separating third-placed Oxford and eighth-placed Wycombe, it has been suggested that while the regular season would be declared finished, the play-offs could be expanded to allow clubs in the top-10 to battle for promotion on the pitch.

For Town the decision is straightforward, with Caldwell claiming it would not be morally right for Town to risk the health of players or staff by playing on, while the loss of gate receipts would also cost the club around £500,000.

Yet he did express sympathy with those clubs who remain determined to play on.

“I’m sure I would be in the same position if we were fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth in the league potentially as well,” said Caldwell.

“The EFL have gone back to see if there is any creative compromise situation, whereby we could satisfy everybody, which is very, very difficult in this situation.

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“There’s an option there, someone suggested whereby some of the clubs could potentially play on to try and get a play-off position for a promotion place or whatever.

“But it’s very difficult in this situation to please everybody because at the end of the day everybody’s got a bit of self-interest in it, which is understandable.”

Fleetwood, Ipswich, Oxford, Peterborough, Portsmouth and Sunderland have all made public their desire to complete the season.

Caldwell, meanwhile, has praised supporters who have purchased season tickets despite uncertainty over when next season will commence. Town have extended the discounted early bird window until the end of the month, and more than 1,200 fans have so far bought tickets.

Caldwell said: “We totally appreciate everybody renewing season tickets for next year which is fantastic. We’re very grateful for their support at a time where we don’t have any income.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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