Tranmere’s expanded play-offs proposal ‘reflects wishes of majority of clubs’

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios (right) has proposed a way of finishing the League One season which wo

Tranmere chairman Mark Palios (right) has proposed a way of finishing the League One season which would include expanded play-offs. Picture: ARCHANT/PA - Credit: Archant

Tranmere chief executive Mark Palios claims his alternative way of bringing League One to an end ‘reflects the wishes of the majority of clubs.’

The Prenton Park club have been vocal in their belief that concluding the season using a straight points-per-game (PPG) formula is unfair, given they are currently in the final relegation place, were on a run of three-successive victories prior to football’s suspension and have a game in hand on the side immediately above them.

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Rovers’ proposal is a modified points-per-game system, incorporating a margin for error to account for inconsistencies in remaining fixtures and allowing for upturns in form. They have analysed data from all three EFL divisions over the last three seasons, finding many clubs who have outperformed or not lived up to their points-per-game totals during the final nine games of seasons.

Under the proposal, the margin for error over the last three years in the PPG system is based on the difference between a side’s PPG at this stage of a season and their final points tally. Tranmere’s data has concluded that range is between -5.45 to +6.3% on average.

Tranmere propose clubs would only be relegated should they still be in the relegation places once the margin-for-error has been applied which, in the case of Rovers, would mean they would stay up and only two sides relegated from League One. This would also be applied for promotion.

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Coventry and Rotherham would both still win automatic promotion, but margin-for-error would see seven clubs qualify for the play-offs. That extends down to Doncaster in ninth, with Ipswich still finishing 11th in the League One table even with an upturn of 6.3%.

Palios, the former Football Association chief executive, has indicated his club will submit their proposal to the EFL ahead of tomorrow’s 2pm deadline.

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The EFL is then expected to issue notice of a clubs meeting on June 8, where its proposed curtailment framework plus any alternative models, including Tranmere’s, will be voted on by all 71 clubs.

League One and Two clubs are then set to vote on whether or not to end the season based on whichever framework is agreed. Clubs in the fourth tier have indicated a wish to curtail the season but without relegation, while in League One clubs are undecided on how to proceed.

The Championship, meanwhile, is aiming to return behind closed doors on June 20.

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The EFL framework includes promotion and relegation, the retention of the four-team play-offs and the deciding of the final league table on an unweighted points-per-game basis.

Palios said: “We’re trying to effect a compromise as close to the EFL’s position but iterate our original proposal to reflect the wishes of the majority of clubs and achieve a fairer solution that football people will recognise as such.”

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