Exclusive: Sunderland WON'T take part in mini promotion tournament as EFL confirms how it plans to end season

The EFL are NOT considering a mini-tournament to decide promotion from League One this season, the Echo can reveal.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th April 2020, 12:02 pm

Instead, the league remains committed to finishing all outstanding fixtures once it is appropriate to do so.

It was suggested last week that the EFL were considering such an idea as they bid to find a way to complete the 2019/20 season.

The premise would be that the top eight in each division could compete for promotion in a smaller-scale competition – overcoming some logistical issues while also ensuring that promotion is decided on the pitch.

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The EFL are not considering a mini-tournament of League One's top eight

Had such plans come to fruition, then Sunderland - currently sat seventh in League One - would have taken part.

However, the Echo has learned that the idea is not being considered by the EFL - who remain committed to concluding the season once it is safe to do so.

The idea had already split opinion in League One, with Burton Albion chairman Ben Robinson saying that he believed clubs would not back such a proposal.

“It doesn’t seem as though the idea of the top eight teams playing off is going to work,” he said, speaking to the Totally Football League Show.

“I don’t think the clubs would accept that, probably.

“It’s a tricky thing, isn’t it? You want to try and protect that integrity of promotion and relegation.”

All League One fixtures have currently been postponed indefinitely and, while a return date has not yet been fixed given the constantly changing situation, the league remain confident of completing the campaign on the field.

In their most recent statement, the EFL said: “The position of the EFL remains unchanged in that the priority is to resume the 2019/20 season as soon as it is possible with matches only returning at an appropriate point and based on guidance from the relevant authorities. The health and well-being of the nation has to come first.”

It has already been confirmed that all fixtures will be played behind closed doors once the EFL does resume, while clubs have been advised not to return to training until May 16 at the earliest.

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