Rotherham United promoted to the Championship

ROTHERHAM UNITED have been promoted to the Championship after League One clubs voted by a majority to end the 2019-20 season on an unweighted points per game basis.
Yorkshire club football badges.Yorkshire club football badges.
Yorkshire club football badges.

The third-tier's 23 clubs held an individual vote this afternoon (Tuesday). In order for a league campaign to be curtailed, 51 per cent in any given EFL division need to agree to it and that threshold was passed by an overwhelming margin.

The vote was staged following the English Football League's extraordinary general meeting in the morning.

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That saw an overwhelmingly majority of 71 member clubs in all three EFL divisions formally agree to the governing body's proposal for curtailing the season via unweighted PPG - incorporating promotion, relegation and a four-team play-off - if individual divisions decide to end the campaign.

A number of alternative options and amendments - including one from Barnsley which called for relegation to be scrapped in the event of a division being unable to finish - failed to gain enough support.

The Championship are pressing ahead with plans to resume the season on June 20, but League One and League Two will now end.

League Two clubs - including Bradford City - also formally voted to end their season by an 'overwhelming majority', as expected, after unanimously agreeing that in an indicative vote back on May 15.

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The situation was not as straightforward in League One with several clubs, including the promotion-chasing quartet of Sunderland, Portsmouth, Ipswich Town and Peterborough having voiced a strong desire to continue the season over the past few months.

But in the final analysis, the financial reality of football's Covid-19 shutdown, with many League One clubs unable to afford taking players and staff off furlough or pay for testing costs to see the season out behind closed doors - has seen a majority vote to curtail the 2019-20 campaign.

The big winners are leaders Coventry and second-placed Rotherham, who occupied the two automatic promotion positions before the division was suspended in mid-March.

In the play-offs, Wycombe Wanderers will face Fleetwood Town and Oxford United will play Portsmouth on dates to be confirmed, with Tranmere Rovers, Southend United and Bolton Wanderers relegated.

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On the decision by League One clubs to end the season, a statement issued by the Millers' neighbours Doncaster Rovers - who finish the season in ninth place - read: "Doncaster Rovers fully understand the decision made by EFL Sky Bet League One clubs to curtail the remaining fixtures of the League One season.

"The health of all individuals associated with the football club - fans, players and staff alike - is of paramount importance. We respect the decision made collectively by League One clubs and welcome the clarity that has now been provided following the vote."

Coming up automatically from League Two are Swindon Town, as champions, alongside Crewe Alexandra, and Plymouth Argyle

In the play-off semi-finals, Colchester United face Exeter City and Northampton Town play Chetenham Town. The first leg takes place on June 18 and the second leeg is scheduled for June 22.

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Stevenage could yet be reprieved from relegation out of the Football League after second-from-bottom Macclesfield Town were handed a fresh EFL misconduct charge on June 1.

Following the developments in the Football League, the National League is likely to follow up by announcing their intentions on completing their own season, mindful that promotion and relegation have been retailed in the EFL's regulation.

It has big repercussions for Harrogate Town, second in the National League at its conclusion behind Barrow and pushing for a historic promotion to the Football League for the first time.

Halifax Town also finished in a play-off position, while York City were in an automatic promotion position when National League North ended.

National League clubs must now decide whether they want to hold their own play-offs, finalise standings using points-per-game ratio or void 2019-20.

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