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‘It doesn’t factor in heart or desire... it’s a cop-out’ - Norwood on EFL’s plan as Tranmere face drop

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 May 2020

James Norwood believes former club Tranmere are being treated unfairly under EFL plans to conclude the season. Picture: ARCHANT/PA

James Norwood believes former club Tranmere are being treated unfairly under EFL plans to conclude the season. Picture: ARCHANT/PA

Archant

James Norwood believes the EFL are taking the easy way out at a time when former club Tranmere Rovers look set to be relegated from League One.

The governing body has set out a plan of how to decide final placings in the event of clubs voting for the campaign to be ended early, with that framework relegating third-bottom Tranmere using a points-per-game formula.

However Norwood, who fired Rovers to two successive promotions before joining the Blues last summer, believes this approach is unfair given his former club are only three points adrift of fourth-bottom Wimbledon, hold a game in hand and were on a run of three-successive victories prior to the sport being halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

“At the bottom you look at what’s happened over the last few years with clubs staying up on the last day of the season. There’s too much on the line to relegate teams,” he told talkSPORT.

“You have one or two that don’t look like they would get out of it but you’ve got that last space that I think is up for grabs between two, three or four teams with a lot of games to play. I don’t think it’s fair to relegate teams right now.”

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“The club’s (Tranmere) got a history of coming through with results towards the end of the season and had won three-on-the-spin going into the break, so who’s to say if they were level on points with the same amount to play that they wouldn’t have survived. They’ve got a game in hand and are three points behind.

“I don’t know how you cater for that – a made up way of points-per-game – because that doesn’t factor in heart, desire or form. It’s a cop-out from the league to say ‘that’s that, they’re going down’ because there are too many games to play.

“If they couldn’t catch up, then fine. But teams who had a real chance of getting out of it should get the chance to do that.”

Two votes are set to be held next week. The first will ask clubs to decide whether or not to accept the EFL’s framework for ending the season and deciding final standings, in the event of a season being halted early. The second will then ask whether or not to end the season now or look to carry on playing.

Both votes need a 51 per cent majority for them to pass.

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