At a point in the season at which most teams had played 37/38 games, the season ended abruptly due to Covid-19.

The National League (rightly or wrongly) decided to essentially cancel all remaining games left to play. This amounted to nearly 27/30 points to play for: not to be sniffed at!

After much dilly-dallying by the National League, they decided to follow the EFL 1 & 2 – and decide the outcome of the 19/20 campaign on an “unweighted” PPG.

This, of course, rather disappointingly left the Moors without a place in the playoff places, along with Stockport County, who were sitting in the last playoff place when the season was curtailed. This method lifted Barnet an incredible four places in the league into 7th, knocking Stockport from the last playoff spot. Why did this happen? Because Barnet had played four games less than most of the other teams!

I’ve never been a fan of unweighted PPG outcome. It stinks of unfairness. Look at the case of the Moors and their run in:the hardest game was against Harrogate Town at home. They also had to play Halifax, but the remaining fixtures were against teams in and around the drop zone. How did Barnet get into that position? If they had played their outstanding games in hand, what would the outcome have been?

I believe that by using a weighted PPG system, Stockport may have kept the last playoff spot, but I’m not a mathematician so can’t tell you for sure. It would also depend on how exactly the system was weighted.

In my scenario, I’d have had a Barrow vs Harrogate playoff for automatic promotion. The loser of this game would have gone into the “mini tournament”.

I’d have then had a “mini tournament” format for the last promotion spot involving any team that could realistically have made the playoffs this season. Doing this, it probably would have gone down to around 14th/15th which is where Torquay were sat, although this would have to be calculated according to who could actually make the playoffs mathematically, taking into account fixtures around them.  This could be in the form of a draw and knockout with single-legged ties – a little bit like the FA Cup. 

My method to end the season involved more games being played, yes – but surely, with the money floating around in football, this could have been funded one way or another. The primary expense would have been all the necessary Covid-19 tests.

I believe this would have been a lot fairer than shoehorning Barnet into a playoff spot that, let’s be honest, they didn’t deserve and have been extremely lucky to get.

- Matthew Woodfield (@Matt_MUFC87)

Thanks to Matt for sharing his perspective with us all. Do you agree with Matt? Feel free to contact Bandwagon to share your thoughts and have your say on all things Solihull Moors, non-league, and football!