Peterborough United chairman Darragh MacAnthony has told the Peterborough Telegraph he believes we could see Premier League B teams in the EFL within five years because this season has ended early.
MacAnthony, whose Posh side are set to miss out on a play-off place under proposals to finish the season on a points per game basis, has been a vocal supporter of playing out the remaining fixtures. He has previously accused the EFL of not wanting to finish the season and that clubs face armageddon if the season doesn’t resume.
It now looks highly likely that the season will not resume, with a vote expected tomorrow but some claiming 15 or so clubs are happy to complete the season with simulated points per game model, with promotion and relegation based on that. MacAnthony believes that is the route to letting Premier League B teams into the EFL structure, something widely condemned by all except the elite.
“If we don’t get our house in order bad things will happen,” MacAnthony said.
“Within five years you will get 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.”
Some clubs have claimed they could lose £1m or more from restarting the season, but MacAnthony doesn’t believe those figures reflect the true amount, nor does he believe the clubs should have had the final say on how to proceed.
“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,” he said, lashing out at the governing body.
“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.”
The vote is expected to take place tomorrow and, should it go the way it is expected to, Peterborough will remain in League One whilst Tranmere, who have also been critical of the situation, will be relegated to League Two.
Look, we like Darragh MacAnthony, let us get that straight. He’s open, transparent and he has done good things for Posh, who languished in League Two before he took over. He oversees a sound business model there and is always available for discussion and debate.
However, this past couple of days comments coming out of the club have smacked of desperation. Sure, the PPG system is no way to end an EFL season, but the reality is clubs go into administration this month. A decision has to be made, not just for Tranmere and Peterborough with something to contest in the league, but for Accrington, Wimbledon and the like who are fighting another battle, away from the pitch.
Nobody wants to see the season curtailed, but the recent situation is unique and sadly, you can’t please everyone. Contracts run out at the end of the month and some clubs simply cannot afford to play out the season behind closed doors. The truth is it should have been sorted by now, but to pull the B Team card at this stage is a late, desperate act that is simply not required.