Shrewsbury Town to get options on season vote
Shrewsbury Town are hopeful of today receiving guidance from EFL bosses on the conclusion of the League One season.
EFL chiefs met in a board meeting yesterday with the expectation that they will provide scenarios and recommendations for clubs to vote on.
Shrewsbury hope, in an ideal world, that the voting process can go ahead tomorrow to finally provide clarity as to how League One will end – though reports last night suggested that vote could now be pushed into next week.
There is interest from six clubs, most of which are pushing for a promotion place, in playing the season to a conclusion – while clubs are also expected to be able to vote to end the season.
Shrewsbury would side with the latter. Chief executive Brian Caldwell has stated that the club do not wish to put the lives of staff and players at risk to the coronavirus.
Caldwell has also cited finances in Town’s reasoning, suggesting it could cost the Montgomery Waters Meadow club up to £500,000 to stage the final 10 games of their season with testing protocols and other costs.
Sam Ricketts’ Shrewsbury were 16th when the health pandemic brought football to a close in March.
Should the season be voted to end, it is expected a sporting merit method of points per game would be used to decide the standings. That would see Town climb above Lincoln to 15th.
With Salop hopeful of an opportunity to have their say by the end of this week, a decision as to how the third tier campaign will conclude seems imminent. However, a vote to end the season early could be met by real opposition from the likes of big-hitters Peterborough, Sunderland and Portsmouth, among others.
New Sunderland chief executive Jim Rodwell is the latest to publicly throw his weight behind the League One season playing out to a finale.
The EFL’s preferred resolution if games are not completed will be promotion for current top two Coventry and Rotherham, with the next four sides contesting a type of extended play-offs.
That points per game method would see Peterborough and Sunderland miss out on a promotion shot and Rodwell insists that, while playing games would come at ‘considerable cost’ to clubs, the season must finish to preserve ‘the professionalism and obligation that comes with its historic status’.
He added: “Several League One clubs have taken the stance that no further games should be played and that a currently undetermined formula should be applied to finalise the league table.
“SAFC strongly disagree with this view and remain committed to completing the season the right way.
“We believe that any league placings should be determined by what happens on the pitch, not in a meeting room and most certainly not in a courtroom.”
Meanwhile, it is understood that the EFL have issued salary cap propositions to Leagues One and Two to help lower-league football recover from Covid-19.
EFL chairman Rick Parry has told MPs that the game needs a ‘reset post-Covid’ to help clubs survive.
The document contains options for clubs to consider, one of which will allow ‘football fortunes’ – including cup monies and player sales – on top of the cap.
The report states third tier clubs including Shrewsbury would be given a maximum £2.5million for their salaries, with a £1.25m cap for League Two clubs.
Further plans offered to clubs include a vote to introduce a maximum of 20-man squads, including eight homegrown players produced from the academy in that group.
It is reported the league hope to introduce the salary cap by the 2020/21 season, but clubs will be given a season’s grace to comply with measures – though the Shropshire Star understands any talk of imposing the salary caps are only at a discussion stage.