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We're all set to resume the season after EFL meeting
Tuesday, 9th Jun 2020 21:57 by Tim Whelan

Yesterday the revised fixture list came out and today the EFL finalised the rules so that the Championship will be able to recommence. So now it’s over to Bielsa and the boys to finish what they started and get enough points to seal promotion.

Following a vote on each by all 71 Clubs, it was overwhelmingly agreed (by a majority of all Clubs and a majority in the Championship) to adopt the EFL Board’s proposal into EFL Regulations, which now means the following applies in the event a division curtails its 2019/20 season or it is ended by any other means.

1. Final divisional placings will be determined on unweighted points per game (if required).

2. Promotion and relegation should be retained.

3. Play-Offs will be played in all circumstances but will not be extended (beyond four teams).

An unweighted points per game system means there will only be one calculation of the total points earned divided by the number of games played. As opposed to a weighted system which would calculate separate averages for home and away games, although the latter would be fairer if some clubs have played more home games while others have played more away games.

As the Championship clubs have agreed to play all the games if at all possible it we might not need to worry about PPG, but we have to remember that it would come into effect if the season had to be stopped again. This would happen if a significant number of players in the Championship tested positive for the dreaded Covid, or there was a second wave in the population in general.

So we would need to maintain our place in the top two at all times, just in case there was a further outbreak, as the final standings would then be based on a PPG calculation on the revised table. Later in the day the clubs in Leagues One and Two voted to finish their seasons now, but the Championship will start playing again, despite the moans for various reasons from QPR, Hull and Charlton, and Barnsley’s bizarre threat of legal action if relegation takes place at all.

The fixtures were announced yesterday, and our first two will be live on Sky, and no doubt one or two of the last ones will be as well, if we still need to get some results by then to get ourselves over the line. The matches with asterixis below are the ones where the time may be changed due for live broadcast, and as usual that’s most of them.

There’s no notice on the official site to say the remaining fixture list is copyright, so here it is in full:-

Sun Jun 21 Cardiff City A (12:00pm live on Sky Sports)

Sat Jun 27 Fulham H (3:00pm live on Sky Sports)

Tue Jun 30 Luton Town H (7:45pm)

Sat Jul 4 Blackburn Rovers A (3:00pm)*

Tue Jul 7 Stoke City H (7:45pm)*

Sat Jul 11 Swansea City A (3:00pm)*

Tue Jul 14 Barnsley H (7:45pm)*

Sat Jul 18 Derby County A (3:00pm)*

Wed Jul 22 Charlton Athletic H (TBC)*

Preston boss Alex Neal has said it’s illogical to have a week’s gap right at the start and then to play every midweek from then on, with more to come for the four clubs in the play-offs. He thinks it would be more logical to put the week’s rest in the middle of this schedule. And although he talked some garbage about our wage deferral last month, I think this time he might have a point.

But it’s not for us to worry about the players at other clubs getting worn out and the moans and groans from Preston and QPR. Marcello Bielsa had the foresight to order gym equipment for the whole squad before the epidemic took hold, to ensure they emerged from lockdown as fast as they went in.

And for that reason I’m confident that out form in the last nine games will be the same as it was at the start of the last two seasons and not like the way we finished the last one. So with the lead we already have over Fulham in third place I reckon that this time we’re going to do it.

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