Well, there we have it – signed, pretty much sealed and now just to be delivered. Boro’ are going down after most of the 71 EFL clubs sided with the Men In Suits; keeping promotion and relegation in place across the board based on PPG if the season can’t be ended. And, with Leagues One and Two knocking it on the head, that’s how it’ll be. The Championship, meanwhile, gets back up and running at some point soon. We don’t care when.
But, even now, we’re still not sure if that’s the end of the matter. The bottom line is that we end the campaign bottom of the table; 2.97 points behind Macclesfield Town with a match in hand. It’s a funny old way to go. But we’re sure the EFL knows best. Yep.
Relegation: Well, it was inevitable – wasn’t it?
Imagine if Covid-19 was never a thing and the 2019-20 season ran its course as planned. We’d be preparing for life back in the Conference already. You can’t have it any other way. The price you’ll pay for being dreadful on the pitch is relegation. And we’ve definitely been a deep shade of dreadful. Just three wins in 36 games? And you thought we might win as many in the 10 we had left? Hmm.
In all likelihood, there was a chance we’d be the worst League Two side on paper (without a points deduction) since Donny’s nightmare 1997-8 campaign. The only reason a window of opportunity opened up for us is because Macc had 11 points lopped off their total due to a unique approach of signing players and not paying them. And, yet, 11 points was still not enough to send ’em crashing into bottom. That’s how far off the pace we were.
Now that relegation is looking like a reality, hope can be replaced with some navel-gazing. How did we give up something we worked so hard for, so limply?
But is relegation *actually* now inevitable?
The saga is not over, however. And we still can’t be sure we’re gonna need our Woking A-Z next season. First, there’s the small matter of the Silkmen – at risk of yet another points deduction. So, it means an independent commission now (essentially) gets to decide who goes down and who stays up. Is relegation for us or for them? Will they be deducted 2.96 points and stay up by 0.01 points? It’s the EFL – anything is possible.
Then there’s the question of where relegation takes us to. The EFL’s statement explains how “the 24th placed Club [that’s us] in the League Two will be relegated to the National League provided the Board receives the necessary assurances that the National League will start Season 2020-1 (i.e. the relegated Club in League Two has somewhere to play).”
Now, it’s hard to look past the random use of capital letters and the phrasing the League Two here. But the crux of the matter is we’re unlikely to go anywhere if there’s no way of starting the 2020-1 National League season. If fans can’t attend games, it’s tough to see how that can happen. Mind you, who knows what necessary assurances are needed for the EFL to close the trapdoor. We’re not holding our breath.
All we do know is that 2019-20 is done, dusted and a season for us to forget. Only a big, global pandemic probably stopped it being our worst-ever campaign on paper.
If we do end up avoiding relegation for whatever reason, we should be bloody grateful of the extra life. If not, well, what did we expect? But we *still* don’t know for definite. STILL!