Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver reacts to 'positive' EFL decision to retain relegation from League Two

Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver says Tuesday's meeting of Football League (EFL) members "went as well as it could have done" from his club's point of view.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 10:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 10:14 pm
Harrogate Town manager Simon Weaver. Picture: Matt Kirkham

League Two sides voted almost unanimously to curtail their season with immediate effect shortly after it was confirmed that the EFL as a whole had opted to retain promotion and relegation, decide final standings by points-per-game ratio and proceed with play-offs.

This means that the bottom-placed team in the fourth tier - currently Stevenage - will be demoted and two sides should be eligible for promotion from the National League.

With Town second in the National League when 2019/20 was suspended due to the coronavirus crisis, these latest developments have unsurprisingly been welcomed by Weaver.

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"You would think it's all positive news for us," he said.

"We got everything out of the day that we wanted. It went as well as it could have done, really.

"I expected that this would be the outcome, but there have been that many twists and turns in the last few months that I don't think you can say that you know anything 100 per cent.

"It's definitely good news. It's another potential obstacle out the way in terms of getting two clubs up into League Two.

"Now it's over to the National League."

National League clubs voted to end their regular season back in April, but the organisation's board has been waiting for the EFL to act before making any decision on how to determine its own issues of promotion and relegation.

With a precedent now having been set, the National League board will meet on Wednesday to discuss a framework to put forward to its members to vote on regards the conclusion of 2019/20.

National League clubs will have to decide whether they want to proceed with the play-offs or determine final league standings - and potentially who is promoted as 'runner up' - using points-per-game ratio.

It is expected that league leaders Barrow will go up and take the place of Bury, who were expelled from the EFL in August, while Harrogate could be promoted as runners-up if play-offs do not take place.

Second in the table now, Town would remain there should PPG be used to decide final league positions.

Article 10.1.3 on the subject of 'Promotion and relegation between League Two and the National League' in section three of the EFL's regulations states: 'At the end of each season the champion club of the National League and the National League runner-up (be that determined on the basis of league position alone or by way of play off competition) shall be eligible to apply for promotion to the League.'

At this stage, it is believed that, while seemingly unlikely, voiding the 2019/20 National League season could still be a possibility presented to member clubs.