Uncertainty was the biggest danger for many of League One and League Two’s clubs as the coronavirus postponement continued to roll on, with the leagues above them planning their efforts to restart and the leagues below them increasingly ending early. For many of the clubs at the lower levels of the Football League pyramid, this has been an incredible difficult and financially burdening period with uncertainty and an inability to plan for the future just adding further stress into the mix. Now a clear, democratically-decided decision has been reached, clubs can begin to put clear action plans in place to attempt to protect and safeguard as many clubs as is possible.
Unfortunately, there may still be casualties of this financially strained period, just as there will be throughout the lower levels of English football, but for the most part clubs should now be able to plan for the future, structure their finances and debts accordingly and work within clear forecasts to allow the clubs to continue operating. As much as the decision to end league football early won’t have been the preferred choice of all, it will have made a significant impact to the majority, seen in the consensus in the votes from the clubs, and largely just ends any doubts.
Macclesfield Town look like the side most in danger at present in the Football League, having already been slapped with points deductions and penalties for financial problems earlier in the season and currently awaiting the outcome of a pending EFL punishment. Should they receive a three point deduction, they will be relegated from the Football League in place of currently bottom side Swindon, who they sit three points ahead of at present. Perhaps understandably, there is a real fear among the club and its players of this happening, with some going so far as suggesting a conspiracy against the club should the EFL dock them the three points required to relegate the club. Whether that is true or not, the decision could be costly for the club.
Yet, the decision to end the season early could also work in the favour of many of these financially challenged clubs as being able to plan and forecast means sides will now know of any cash flow shortages ahead of time and can seek assistance – including Macclesfield should they stay up.