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Shrewsbury Town chief Brian Caldwell: Playing on is a risk

By Matt Maher | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published:

Shrewsbury Town chief executive Brian Caldwell has warned League One clubs risk “financial suicide” by continuing the season – with an overwhelming majority now eager to curtail the campaign.

Shrewsbury Town Chief Executive Brian Caldwell

Clubs in the third tier will vote in the next fortnight on proposals which could see the season cut short.

The Shropshire Star understands at least 15 clubs, including Town, now favour that option with each facing an estimated bill of £500,000 were the campaign completed behind closed doors.

Though some clubs involved in the play-off race are keen to play on, Caldwell claims many are simply not willing to take the gamble.

The chief executive, who also revealed Town will face losses of around £2million if fans remain shut out until 2021, said told BBC Shropshire: “First and foremost, for us to play the remaining games isn’t right morally, in my opinion.

“I am not comfortable with bringing staff into the environment when it is such a critical stage and putting them at risk.

“Secondly, it is financial suicide for any club to gamble. Some of the clubs at the top end of the league are happy to gamble half-a-million pounds in order to facilitate the remaining games.

“It is a massive gamble and I have spoken to clubs even just outside the play-offs and they are not happy to take it and risk throwing that money away.

“It is nuts just now, to be honest. It is a very difficult situation when you have absolutely no income coming in.”

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The EFL published on Wednesday its draft framework for regulation changes which, if approved by the majority of the league’s 71 clubs next week, would then allow individual divisions to vote on whether to curtail their seasons.

The support of 51 per cent of clubs – 12 in League One – would be required to pass a motion which would see places decided on an unweighted points per game method.

Current top two Coventry and Rotherham would be promoted to the Championship while Southend, Bolton and Tranmere would be relegated.

Sunderland and Peterborough, who have been vocal in their support of finishing the season, would miss out on the play-offs. Town would climb one place above Lincoln to 15th.

Sam Ricketts’ team have not played since a 3-2 home defeat to Oxford on March 7, after which the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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