Column: It would be nice if League Two clubs could plan for 2020-21 - but wait goes on
After its three-month suspension the Premier League is due to resume on Wednesday, June 17 with the outstanding games in hand, with the season proper resuming the following weekend.
The FA Cup picks up the traces at the end of June and it is expected the final will round things off at the start of August.
Those dates, however, do not tie down the timing of the recommencement of the 2020-21 season in League Two. Already there is debate about training and pre-season friendlies and Crawley Town should be able to plan accordingly. “Should” is the key word and must not be confused with “will”.
The Premier League is on course although not without some dissension among clubs. The clubs in the Championship have agreed about their wish to resume the suspended season and a similar timetable seems quite logical. The fly in the ointment is League One, whose clubs have not yet reached any agreement and their choice is the one that will impact most on League Two.
As I mentioned before it is Tranmere Rovers, more accurately their chairman Mark Palios, who are blocking progress. They are not simply sitting on the fence as it would seem that any proposal is fine with them as long as the Rovers do not get relegated. I alluded then to understandable self interest but their continued procrastination will lose the Wirral club a lot of friends.
The prospect for resumption will be delayed at least and the new season’s opening date can only be settled when the date is known for the final fixtures of the previous one. This is the sort of situation where the EFL should have offered clubs a take it or leave it proposal but they continue to vacillate.
I must declare my own self interest as I would love to see another couple of games against Tranmere Rovers. They have always been one of my favourite clubs (along with Southport) for reasons I cannot recall.
I enjoyed my day at Prenton Park although we left empty-handed and it would be great to welcome the Super White Army back to Broadfield where they will be able to play on the best surface in the division.
The work done on the pitch during the enforced lay-off has been absolutely superb so all we need now is a team that is good enough to play on it. John Yems and Lee Bradbury moulded an adequate squad into a good one during their initial spell and now the hope is that they will be in a position to strengthen it.
I had hoped that the retained list would have been announced before I wrote this column but I shall look forward to it as it will provide me with the opportunity to write about the Reds rather than the woes of football in general.