The EFL board says that relegation is “integral” to the integrity of the Championship, League One and League Two amid uncertainty over how the season will be concluded.
The board’s position appears to deal a blow to League Two’s plans to curtail the 2019-20 season without a team being relegated to the National League, although the framework the board has laid out is still to be voted on by all clubs.
A club should be relegated to the National League, the EFL board states, “provided we have assurances that the National League will start season 2020-21 (i.e. the relegated club in League Two has somewhere to play)”.
As well as setting out the principle on relegation, the EFL board says the play-offs should be played in the event of curtailment but should not be extended beyond the regular four teams.
It also says that the decision to curtail in each division should require a 51 per cent majority among the clubs concerned, with League One sides in open disagreement about whether to stop or play on.
EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “In the event that a divisional decision is made to curtail the 2019-20 season, the EFL board is recommending that the league adopts the original framework with the amendments as identified, as there is a strong desire to remain as faithful as possible to the regulations and ensure there is consistency in the approach adopted across the EFL in all divisions.
“The board has always acknowledged that a single solution to satisfy all clubs would always be hard to find, but we are at the point now where strong, definitive action is needed for the good of the league and its members.”