League One: How did your club react to the season being cancelled early?

Coventry City
Coventry City were five points clear at the top of League One when the division was suspended in March

League One clubs voted on Tuesday to bring their season to an early conclusion, mirroring the decision made by sides in League Two.

There did however, at one point, appear to be a power struggle developing when six sides in the league who were challenging for promotion emphasised their wish for the campaign to continue - a move which led to initial talks stalling.

But, with the division now cancelled, how has every club responded to the news? BBC Sport details the reaction from all 23 teams in League One.

Accrington Stanley (17th)

Accrington owner Andy Holt said the decision to end the League One season had put a stop to the "uncertainly" that "was affecting everyone".

"Now the decision has been made, we can look forward in terms of player contracts," he told the club website.external-link "We needed the certainty so now we can start to rebuild the club for next season.

"I will say that I do not want to play behind-closed-doors games. For me, football is about the community and fans and I do not want to watch a game where there aren't any fans."

AFC Wimbledon (20th)

AFC Wimbledon have yet to comment.

Blackpool (13th)

Blackpool have yet to comment.

Bolton Wanderers (23rd, relegation)

Wanderers will issue "a detailed response" in the coming days.

"In the meantime, we would like to thank our supporters, staff and all other stakeholders for the incredible patience and support they have shown to the club since lockdown commenced in March," a statement on the club website read.

Bristol Rovers (14th)

"Several weeks ago we were strongly in favour of completing the fixtures this season," chief executive Martyn Starnes wrote in an open letter to supporters.

"However, it had become increasingly evident to us that fulfilling the programme was going to be extremely difficult to achieve.

"We felt that a return to competitive football was simply not feasible for us in the current circumstances.

"While the impact of coronavirus has indeed been sizeable, a proactive approach from the club has allowed us to navigate these telling times and to start planning for the future."

Burton Albion (12th)

Burton manager Jake Buxton told BBC Radio Derby it was good to finally get some "clarity" following the decision to end the season.

"It's nice to have some end to all the commotion and uncertainty," Buxton said.

"It's nice to get some clarity for the staff and players and we can make some more decisions.

"We have been working along with the chairman for how it would look for both eventualities and also for when supporters will come back to the stadium.

"We don't know how it will look in terms of finances when the supporters come back. Once we know that situation we can move forward in terms on what players we will have, who we will have in place in terms of staff and also, importantly, getting contract offers out to players employed by the club as well."

Coventry City (1st, automatic promotion)

Coventry City
Coventry had to play their games at Birmingham's St Andrew's ground after leaving the Ricoh Arena

"It was all a bit surreal. Under normal circumstances you'd be talking about open top bus rides, but obviously that's not possible so we're planning to celebrate with an online party," Sky Blues chief executive Dave Boddy told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.

"There were always going to be winners and losers. No method was going to satisfy everybody. I think this was the nearest solution to fair you could find."

Coventry had to play their home games at Birmingham City's St Andrew's ground after failing to agree a deal to stay at the Ricoh Arena.

"I think that makes the achievement all the sweeter and all the better," Boddy added.

"We've won the league on a mid-table budget and playing 20 miles from Coventry. I must say to Birmingham, they've been outstanding to us, they've looked after us, we've enjoyed being there. But we obviously want to be back in Coventry playing at the Ricoh which was built for us."

Doncaster Rovers (9th)

"Doncaster fully understand the decision made by League One clubs to curtail the remaining fixtures of the season," a club statement read.

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

"Our objectives are to ensure all supporters feel valued and have suitable compensation options available to them and that we all have a club to support beyond the Covid-19 pandemic."

Fleetwood Town (6th, play-offs)

Chairman Andy Pilley told the club website: "The decision by EFL clubs is one we welcome.

"While I made no secret earlier in the process of my desire for the league to be completed in full, as time passed this became more difficult.

"With this in mind, I feel the clubs came to a sensible and inevitable verdict.

"We now face the prospect of a hugely exciting end to the season and Joey (Barton) and the team will be doing everything they can to give us the best possible chance of success."

Gillingham (10th)

Chairman Paul Scally told BBC Radio Kent: "Every chairman, owner, manager, player and fan wants to see us playing, for sure.

"The reality is for us to finish the season would cost between £350,000 and £500,000 for each League One and League Two club.

"The risk is just too high for that kind of outlay, even if we had the money to pay that cost, which we don't."

Ipswich Town (11th)

Ipswich, who had led the table during the early months, of the season, were one of six clubs who indicated last month that they wanted to play on.

"It has always been our desire to see the League One season finished on the pitch, as is now the case with the Championship," owner Marcus Evans told the club website.external-link

"Obviously we are very disappointed that will now not be happening. Personally I think there were other safe alternatives to the way things have worked out, certainly with so many clubs in with a chance of finishing in the play-off places if the season had continued.

"A decision had to be made though and while we don't agree with the outcome, we do fully understand that the cost of finishing the season for many clubs was prohibitive."

Lincoln City (16th)

Lincoln City chief executive Liam Scully told BBC Radio Lincolnshire they put all their efforts into finding a way of completing the season but "time ran out" and the decision to curtail this term was the right one, despite the serious financial implications.

"There has been a £1m loss of revenue," Scully said. "We have been able to put the club in hibernation and that has saved significant costs, but ultimately it will be a real difficult time. We have great togetherness and our fans have supported us unconditionally and I think Lincoln, overall, is in a reasonable position to ride this out.

"We are going to have make some difficult decisions along the way but our aim is two-fold, to make sure the club survives and, secondly, when we come out of the other side, we are in a position to thrive again. There is no intention to come out of this and creep through but we have to take one step at a time."

MK Dons (19th)

MK Dons executive director Andrew Cullen told the club websiteexternal-link they were as comfortable as they could be with the decision to end the season but there were losers in every possible outcome.

"We had no problem whatsoever to play on if that was the decision," Cullen said. "But what was becoming clear was that a number of clubs would suffer severe financial difficulty if they were to continue.

"We knew what it meant for us. It was several hundred thousand of pounds for us to continue and for some clubs it would have been a lot more.

"It was an overwhelming vote for the season to be curtailed. It was clear-cut but some clubs will be hugely disappointed and you have to feel for Tranmere Rovers. There will be losers in this situation as there will be every league in Europe."

Oxford United (4th, play-offs)

"We have never wavered in our belief that the season needed to end on the pitch and now we get a chance to finish all the hard work that we started back in July," manager Karl Robinson told the club website.external-link

"Whatever happens we have had a season none of us is ever going to forget: there have been some amazing wins, two cup runs and to think that we finished the regular season with the drama of that win at Shrewsbury sums up the way our whole season has gone.

"I am so proud of the players. There can't have been many bigger underdogs to reach the play-offs at the start of the season and they have given absolutely everything for the club."

Peterborough United (7th)

Barry Fry and Darragh MacAnthony
Posh director of football Barry Fry and owner Darragh MacAnthony were left furious with the season's curtailment

"We have to have the drive over the injustice," owner Darragh MacAnthony said last week on his 'Hard Truth' podcast, anticipating that clubs would vote to curtail the season.

"We have to have the largest chip you've ever seen on your shoulder," he added when talking about how his side will approach next season.

"For me it's about vengeance. We have got to put a promotion challenge together, we have got to come back from this as a football club that's together and that's united.

"We, collectively, together as a football club, have to right this injustice, we have to right this wrong."

Portsmouth (5th, play-offs)

"There is a slight feeling of disappointment because we were committed to finishing the season on the pitch," chief executive Mark Catlin said.

"But the vote has happened and that's done and dusted now, so we look forward to an exciting play-off against Oxford.

"We've got a shot of getting to the Championship and the lads are pumped up, so we have to grasp the opportunity with both hands."

Rochdale (18th)

Rochdale chief executive David Bottomley told BBC Radio Manchester he was disappointed the decision took so long but "relieved" to reach the "sensible" outcome they wanted all along.

"We could have taken a much earlier decision and saved a lot of angst," he added. "There has been a lot of ruffled feathers.

"Within our league there are some very big clubs. Sunderland, Ipswich, Portsmouth and Peterborough, clubs that command crowds that would look good in the Premier League.

"There is more financial interest in League One of clubs trying to get back to where they think they belong and that has driven a lot of things.

"At Rochdale we like to think even if we would have been in a different position we would have felt the same and I think we would have done because in our 130-year history we have played fair all the time."

Rotherham United (2nd, automatic promotion)

"The fans will be ecstatic," Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"The EFL had a tremendous job to do. It has been an anxious day, although you had an idea the way it could go.

"I am really pleased that democratically the clubs have voted for the outcome. I am pleased for the club and it has got to be good for the town."

Shrewsbury Town (15th)

Shrewsbury were one of the 18 clubs who voted for the season to be curtailed.

"It's taken longer than we hoped, but now finally there's a line drawn under it," chief executive Brian Caldwell told BBC Radio Shropshire.

"Now we can start to look ahead and plan properly for next season."

Southend United (22nd, relegation)

Sol Campbell
Sol Cambell has only won four of his 23 games in charge of Southend

"There was nothing unexpected in the decision," Southend chairman Ron Martin told BBC Essex.

"The club has had a poor two seasons and I cannot reasonably argue against the outcome."

Sunderland (8th)

"Our focus now is on building the best squad of players we can to take on League One next season," chief executive Jim Rodwell said.

"I think our wage bill will certainly be one of the biggest in the league, a lot will be dependent on who comes down from the Championship because that team tends to come down with quite a healthy budget.

"Our budget will be more than ample for what we need, it's how we spend that money. Our budget will be very competitive for this division."

Tranmere Rovers (21st, relegation)

Owner Mark Palios said he was "disappointed, but not surprised" clubs had voted to curtail the season.

"I have lost count of the number of chairmen who have sympathised at the unfairness of our plight, whilst still voting for it," the 67-year-old told the club website.external-link

"However, sympathy doesn't pay wages or assuage a deep sense of unfairness. It cannot be right that clubs are pitted against clubs, when nobody voting (including Tranmere) is able to take a purely dispassionate view.

"I have no doubt that we would have survived had we been able to play on. For Tranmere fans this will leave a burning sense of injustice."

Wycombe Wanderers (3rd, play-offs)

Gareth Ainsworth
Gareth Ainsworth's Wycombe will play Fleetwood in the League One play-offs

Wycombe chairman Rob Couhig told BBC Three Counties Radio he believed the right decision had been made. Wanderers moved from eighth to third in the rejigged table.

"I have to admit some disappointment and I know Gareth (Ainsworth) and the players feel like if they had been allowed to play out the season they could have contended for that automatic promotion," Couhig said.

"But I think the league did the right thing by all the teams recognising the safety factors, recognising the financial implications, looking at the sporting integrity components and came out with the responsible decision.

"The fact that the votes were overwhelmingly in support of the EFL's proposal I think indicates that it had great support throughout the league."

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