Barry Fry blasts EFL and admits Peterborough & Sunderland need 'miracle' to win League One vote
Barry Fry admits Peterborough United and Sunderland need a ‘miracle’ to win the looming vote on the fate of the League One season.
The EFL reiterated its stance today that in the event of a curtailment, an unweighted points-per-game formula will be used to settle the tables, and also said that the play-offs will not be extended.
If approved, the change in regulations will then allow a 51% majority of third-tier clubs to end the season.
It means Sunderland’s promotion hopes are slim, and is particularly severe for Peterborough who currently sit in a play-off spot and would stay there if a weighted formula was used.
Six clubs have so far publicly backed calls for the season to continue, and they were joined on Thursday night by Gillingham boss Steve Evans.
Winning a vote nevertheless looks like an uphill battle.
Clubs have until Tuesday to reflect and respond on today’s proposals.
A vote on the framework will then follow, and a vote on the League One season after that if approved.
“We need 12 clubs to vote our way,” Fry told the Peterborough Telegraph.
“It would be a miracle if that happened.
“I feel bitter right now. This outcome is completely unfair and goes against the integrity of the competition. It’s a sickener for the club.
“Points per game is a nonsense. At least use a fomula that includes home form, away form and the games you still have to play at home and away.
“We’ve been cheated. We’ve been denied the chance to finish what we started by the EFL who have not been strong enough and by clubs who don’t want to play football.
“I feel for our chairman who is one in a million and his co-owners who have also been superb throughout this crisis. Those three sat down in January when we could have sold three players for a combined fee of £12 million, but they wouldn’t because they wanted to win promotion for our fans.
“I also feel for those fans who have supported the club brilliantly this season and continue to support us by buying season tickets for next season even when we didn’t know what division we were in,” he added.
“And I feel for Darren Ferguson who has built a great squad and who now does not get to try and guide them to promotion. We might not have gone up, but to even be denied the chance to try is absurd.
“It’s not just our club either. I feel for Tranmere who will be relegated even though they’d won their last three matches to get to within three points, and with a game in hand, of safety.
“It’s a cruel and unfair way to decide anything, but we will have to use the setback as motivation for next season.
“We will still be better off than most at our level. We have all the players we want under contract. Obviously Ivan Toney will be a big loss to the team, but we have promised him he can leave if we didn’t go up and what we get for him will see us through next season.”