Kenny Jackett would ‘accept’ Rotherham United being promoted if season ends today

Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett would “accept” his former club Rotherham United being promoted from League One this season, but it is claimed there is growing momentum for an expanded play-offs which could feature Doncaster Rovers.
Former Rotherham United manager Kenny Jackett.  Picture Bruce RollinsonFormer Rotherham United manager Kenny Jackett.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Former Rotherham United manager Kenny Jackett. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Peterborough United are leading the push for more clubs than usual to take part in this season’s play-offs. Their director of football Barry Fry claimed the margins were so fine it would be “unfair” to promote Paul Warne’s Millers. But former Rotherham manager Jackett, whose side are two points behind the Millers and one above Posh, would not feel aggrieved.

“There’s nothing that anybody could have done,” he said. “We had to stop the season. The whole world basically stopped, the country stopped so it’s obviously for good reasons. Then you are where you are in the table – you have to accept that.

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“Yes, maybe we could have caught them but maybe we wouldn’t have. You just have to accept that we weren’t in the top two when the season stopped.

“Some type of play-off system does look favourite.”

The Football League play-offs have been a four-team competition since their 1987 introduction. Peterborough, who would be seventh in a points-per-game table, missing out, want an eight-team version. It is unclear if the proposal will be for it to decide which three teams go up, or who joins Coventry City and Rotherham, who were in the automatic promotion places when the league was suspended for the coronavirus. Doncaster are ninth.

Peterborough co-owner Stewart Thompson says the idea is gaining traction ahead of today’s Football League board meeting. “I can totally understand why after (the clubs in the) top 10 you don’t actually care,” he said. “A play-off like this is way more fair than WPG (weighted points-per-game) or PPG (points per game) because what do you weigh, home form, away form, league placing form?”

Thompson has called for financial help from the Government and Premier League to allow this season – and possibly the 2020-21 campaign too – to be completed behind closed doors.

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“We need to ensure the small clubs live and we all play ASAP,” he said. “The Premier League and Government could also help.

“If the EFL wants to create solidarity, they are going to have to give the smaller clubs a reason not to shutter and furlough until July 2021.”

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