Rochdale Chief Executive David Bottomley has called for an end to the League 1 season in a statement released by the club this morning.
Bottomley’s statement comes following on from yesterdays EFL meeting where clubs in League 1 were unable to reach a decision on how to complete the 19/20 season.
During yesterday’s meeting it was decided unanimously that the League 2 season would be brought to an end in lite of the current Coronavirus pandemic and Bottomley is now calling for League 1 to head down the same route.
In his statement the Rochdale Chief Executive said;
“At this moment our opinion is to take the same decision as EFL League Two and end the current season now, as with every day that slips by the likelihood of allowing players a three week mini pre-season (EFL view) and then resumption and finish of season by 31st July (for player contract reasons) diminishes.
We also believe that the potential excessive costs of testing staff and players twice per week, the ability to travel to away games whilst observing social distancing and the very clear moral issue of why can the football industry be tested at a time when clearly those tests are not available to all key workers, make it even more difficult to resume.”
Some of the bigger clubs in League 1 such as Sunderland, Ipswich and Portsmouth who were pushing for promotion to the Championship when the league was suspended had previously released a statement saying they wanted to finish of the current season on the pitch when it is safe to resume playing.
In his statement Bottomley said Rochdale had earned the right to be competing with these clubs and had the same rights as everyone else in the league and added;
“We will act as a fully responsible member of that collective group, and act with what we see as the best interests of our national sport and not decisions that potentially are made stemming from financial greed.”
Talks are expected to resume between the League 1 clubs on Monday as they search for a solution.
The statement also thanked NHS staff and other key workers for their efforts during the current crisis saying;
“I know many Dale fans are working incredible hours in the service of the NHS but I am also aware of many who are working in services that also matter greatly, whether it is delivering food or working in supermarkets or in engineering etc, and our special thanks go out to all of you.”