Peterborough United chairman sees a bleak future for the ‘Mickey Mouse’ EFL thanks to weak leadership as 23 clubs have been left to squabble amongst themselves

Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony fears the EFL is hurtling towards irrelevance.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 8:20 am
Darragh MacAnthony.
Darragh MacAnthony.

The Posh chief believes history will not look kindly on club owners preparing to vote to curtail the League One season and promote teams on the basis of a points-per-game average tomorrow (June 9) or on an EFL Board who have allowed it to happen through weak leadership.

MacAnthony can see a future where the Championship breaks away from the rest of the EFL and forms a Premiership 2 division. He can see Premier League B teams playing in the EFL and it bothers him.

“If we don’t get our house in order bad things will happen,” MacAnthony said. “Within five years you will a Prem 1 and a Prem 2 and Premier League B teams could be in the EFL, all because clubs want to save a few hundred thousand pounds now. We will all regret it in time if it happens. “I will never be able to live with the decision to end the season and award promotions on a ridiculous points-per-game average. Being told in March to prepare for a return to training and playing in the future, and then being told two months later actually we don’t want to play anymore is just wrong. Three weeks ago we were told there was an appetite among clubs for an extended play-offs and yet we still haven’t had the vote.

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“I know the EFL have a tough job, but they haven’t lead this process. They’ve effectively left it to 23 clubs who have their own individual agendas to squabble amongst themselves.

“Clubs don’t decide when and who they play, clubs don’t operate their own TV deals - the EFL Board are elected to make decisions for us and they should have said you’re all back training on May 25 and ready to play on June 5. They should have led.

“Instead they couldn’t even produce some real costings of how expensive playing out the rest of the season would have been compared to not playing it. I did some transparent costing and it would be no more than £400k to finish the season, not the £750k-800k other clubs have claimed.

“I bought my football club so we could play football and yet there could be a six-month gap between matches for professional athletes. How can that be right?

“We must look like a ‘Mickey Mouse’ operation. The Premier League and the Championship will be back playing soon. Even the Third Division in Germany is coming back and yet we are about to call it a day in League One.

“There is a fair proposal in front of the clubs next week, one which gives everyone who had a realistic chance of promotion the opportunity to go up rather than hand out a fake promotion, one which allows the clubs who don’t want to play to stay in hibernation and I’m still hopeful that Mark Palios (Tranmere chairman) can persuade a few clubs to vote for it.

“I have no idea why Rotherham want to accept a fake promotion when they appear to be confident enough of their own strength to take part in an eight-team play-off which would lead to two promotions.”

EFL clubs will vote on whether to continue or curtail the 2019-20 season tomorow. If, as expected, they vote to curtail clubs will then vote on up to five proposals on how to end the season with Posh backing a Tanmere proposal which involves an eight-team play-off offering two promotions and only two relegated teams.

It’s expected League One clubs will vote for an EFL Board recommendation for final placings to be determined on a points-per-game average which would knock Posh out of the play-offs.