EFL vote confirms Premier League relegation
After months of discussion it has now been confirmed that there will be relegation and promotion between the Premier League and the EFL at the conclusion of the 2019/20 season.
In an extraordinary meeting of all 71 English Football League (EFL) clubs it was decided that promotion and relegation between the divisions will be retained. Some Premier League sides had called for relegation to be suspended for a season as the game comes to terms with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic but that option is now off the table.
The Championship is currently scheduled to restart on the 20th June with the hope of completing the remaining 108 fixtures in 33 days. If the pandemic prevents that happening promotion and relegation will be decided using an unweighted points per game system, with play-offs to be held whenever possible.
EFL Chair Rick Parry said that the Football League had faced unprecedented challenges from the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic but was confident that the decisions made were for the good of the competition.
“Today’s outcome ensures that the League and its Clubs remains as faithful as possible to the previously agreed Regulations and that there is consistency in the approach adopted across the EFL in all divisions if required.”
Top Flight Relegation Battle Heats Up
It had previously been reported by Sky Sports News that up to ten Premier League clubs would consider voting in favour of scrapping relegation if the 2019/20 season cannot be completed. England’s top two leagues are less than two weeks from the restart but completion of the season could be threatened if there is a spike in coronavirus cases.
There are currently at least six teams embroiled in the Premier League relegation battle with just four points separating Brighton & Hove Albion in 15th and 19th-placed Aston Villa, who have a game in hand. Even bottom club Norwich City are just six points from safety with nine games to play.
Today’s news came just hours before the French national courts decided that no teams would be relegated from Ligue 1 after the French government ended the season in late April. Toulouse and Amiens finished in the relegation places but the latter launched an appeal against their relegation stating that it was “unjust” and “against sporting fairness”. Lorient and Lens have been promoted from Ligue 2 so France will likely have a 22-team top flight for the 2020/21 campaign.