EFL League 1 and League 2 clubs to vote to abandon season - sources

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Clubs in the EFL League 1 and League 2 -- English football's third and fourth tier -- will vote on Friday to decide whether to cancel the 2019-20 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, with sources telling ESPN that a majority are likely to vote in favour of abandoning attempts to finish the campaign on the pitch.

Professional football in England has been suspended since March 13, with no fixed date set by either the Premier League or EFL for a return to action.

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Although clubs in the EFL Championship -- the division below the Premier League -- remain committed to completing the remaining 108 fixtures by returning to action in early June, the financial difficulties of staging games behind closed doors have left many in League 1 and League 2 reluctant to restart their season without crucial income from paying spectators.

Some clubs in League 1, including leaders Coventry City, still have 12 league games to play this season, while half of the 24 teams in League 2 have as many as 10 fixtures yet to be played.

With EFL chairman Rick Parry identifying July 31 as the deadline to get the season completed due to issues surrounding players' contracts, sources have told ESPN that clubs in the bottom two divisions are now likely to vote for the season to be cancelled and league placings to be decided by average points-per-game.

Rochdale chairman David Bottomley told ESPN that his club, who currently sit two places outside the League 1 relegation zone, will vote for a cancellation.

"We are happy to go along with whatever the League and other clubs decide," Bottomley said.

"But our view is that the league should be cancelled for this season and decided on average points-per-game.'

While sources have told ESPN that the EFL still aims to stage the promotion playoffs in League 1 and League 2, the issue of relegation from both divisions has yet to be resolved.