Barry Fry slams idea of automatic promotion for Rotherham United
The Millers were in League One’s second automatic promotion spot when fixtures were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. With eight matches left, Rotherham are two points ahead of Oxford United, Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town – too close, thinks Fry, to be decisive.
“Promotions will be granted,” he said. “There will be play-offs, but as yet the League One clubs can’t agree on the way forward.
“The EFL board are meeting on Wednesday. They will then present the possible scenarios to the clubs and we will then vote on them later in the week, probably on Friday.
“My fear is the EFL deciding League One should follow League Two (in asking for positions to be decided on unweighted points per game), but that would be wrong as (League chairman) Rick Parry has said the Championship, League One and League Two clubs can make their own decisions.
“I know the EFL want to promote (leaders) Coventry and Rotherham and then have play-offs.
“I can just about see why Coventry (five points clear with a game in hand) would be allowed to go up, but promoting Rotherham would be wrong.
“They are only two points ahead of two teams and three points ahead of four other teams.
“Ourselves and Oxford have a better goal difference. Rotherham might go on and finish second if we played the season out, but equally they might finish eighth.”
Peterborough were in the final play-off position when games came to a halt, but would drop out under points per game with eighth-placed Wycombe Wanderers jumping to third.
Since their introduction in 1987, Football League play-offs have always involved four teams but in these unusual circumstances Fry’s chairman, Darragh MacAnthony, has suggested they take in eight.
Doncaster Rovers are ninth in League One, and would remain there on points per game, so would not be involved if all top-eight teams played off, but would feature if Coventry and Rotherham went up automatically and the teams from third to 10th featured.
Although individual divisions have been asked to come up with solutions for how best to end the season, all decisions will have to be collectively agreed by the Football League clubs.
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