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reddogkev

Just enjoy the battle for the top six

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Think it's between preston, villa and Sheffield Wednesday now. Us and derby have started to fall away

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Middlesbrough's form has been curious- but overall very much on a downward trajectory and their last 3 games- draw at Wigan then losing last 2 home games have surely ended their outside chance of top 2 and dragged them right back into the scrap for playoffs...

24 pts from the last 18 games- 34 from first 18. A long, drawn-out slump, steady decline punctuated by a few upturns/notable wins.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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By the 9th April I think our aspirations of getting a top 6 finish will be long gone and we'll just be on damage control.

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tend to agree, only saving grace is our away form in general is far ahead of our home form,  in fact not far of the best in this league,  and as we have more away games ! (The home form is another matter and TBH never really addressed)

The next two games at Sheff United and Boro followed by Wigan at home will be telling.  We are Bristol City and trying to predict what will happen in those games is really hopeless.  We are just as likely to great results in those away fixtures followed by inept performance at the gate. 🙄

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Given how we sold numerous players last season, I'm happy with the position we're in now. We're doing better than we did last season, and although we're on the downhill slope, there is still an opportunity to improve.

If we achieve anything above 10th, I think LJ has done a good job. It doesn't excuse the fact that we've gone on yet another run of losses, but it's a pattern to address, and it's still something to build on.

For me, the most important thing is to ensure that we improve on next season, and to be vocal about what our plans are if, against all odds, we win the playoffs.

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50 minutes ago, JBFC II said:

Think it's between preston, villa and Sheffield Wednesday now. Us and derby have started to fall away

Form changes quickly. Any or all those teams could rapidly fall away and us, Derby or Boro could start to get momentum. I think we will miss out but I remember around this time last season people thought Preston were gearing up for a late charge into the play-offs and their form collapsed. I think anyone between Boro and Brentford could climb rapidly or fall away completely. It's far too early to tell who will do what. 

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After tuesday nights result (but more importantly the performance) i was depressed and couldn,t see any way

we would make the top 6, but heyho last nights results have given me renewed hope. As long as Derby are as bad

as we are there is a chance. The worry now is Preston, Villa but they are equally as capable of losing as we are.

Enjoy the ride.

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As far as I am concerned its in our hands, we need to grab it if we can. 7 of our last 10 games are against teams who could be in mix for a play off spot. I include Hull in that as they are level on points with Birmingham who after beating us were 'the ones to watch'.  Shows how much things can change, a couple of wins or defeats either way make all the difference.

Its hopefully going to be an exciting end to the season. 

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It will only be exciting (for us) if we snap out of this rut. And soon.

The only crumb of comfort for me at the moment is the dire form of Derby and Boro. Away to Boro not as daunting as it would have been.

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It’s the team with momentum that usually does well in the playoffs isn’t it. For me that team is Preston. I said a couple of weeks ago when I was there that I wouldn’t be visiting Deepdale again, I think that choice will be made for me.

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1 hour ago, reddogkev said:

There's no way we have a team / squad good enough for the top six this season, yet lo and behold, here we are anyway - all credit to City for still being in with a chance.

My advise is to enjoy the end of a bloody good season and see if we can raise our game again to phenomenal heights, after this lengthy break.

I doubt we will finish top six, we don't have the firepower, as we all know.  But it's going to be an exciting end if we can stay in contention until the last few games.

Also, even taking City out of the equation, I find it incredible how many teams are still in with a genuine shout of 5th and 6th place, what a finish in store for all of us.

COME ON YOU REDS, UP THE CITY!

Haven’t seen much Battle since second half against Wolves.... I’ll be amazed if we even finish top 10 now!!

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20 minutes ago, KeepUpLino said:

Haven’t seen much Battle since second half against Wolves.... I’ll be amazed if we even finish top 10 now!!

Exactly. 

Pathetic energy and performances last two home games. 

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1 hour ago, JBFC II said:

Think it's between preston, villa and Sheffield Wednesday now. Us and derby have started to fall away

With 10 matches to go?    

Got a crystal ball have you?

 

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37 minutes ago, KeepUpLino said:

Haven’t seen much Battle since second half against Wolves.... I’ll be amazed if we even finish top 10 now!!

Largely agree, but would argue draw at Preston a hard won point and we played fine at Norwich but they were just better on the day- and a better side in general.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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For me its steady progress & trying to follow the Brighton format.

I know SL wants the play offs but I think we'll finish 7th or 8th [I said that months ago] which represents steady progress working within our budget constraints.

There is a lot of football still to be played, I just hope we can recreate that lovely pressing style that gives us our identity.

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1 hour ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Middlesbrough's form has been curious- but overall very much on a downward trajectory and their last 3 games- draw at Wigan then losing last 2 home games have surely ended their outside chance of top 2 and dragged them right back into the scrap for playoffs...

24 pts from the last 18 games- 34 from first 18. A long, drawn-out slump, steady decline punctuated by a few upturns/notable wins.

The last 6 form guide confirms that us and Derby are not looking like playoff contenders, and Middlesbrough are not far behind, but it’s amazing how quickly things can change, only 2 weeks ago we were on a great run, others will slip up I’m sure, and hopefully we can find out feet again!

28069F2E-4A1A-4A06-8E99-50CB489E36AC.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, Tinmans Love Child said:

The last 6 form guide confirms that us and Derby are not looking like playoff contenders, and Middlesbrough are not far behind, but it’s amazing how quickly things can change, only 2 weeks ago we were on a great run, others will slip up I’m sure, and hopefully we can find out feet again!

28069F2E-4A1A-4A06-8E99-50CB489E36AC.jpeg

We’ve probably had one of the most difficult run out of everyone.

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28 minutes ago, Robbored said:

With 10 matches to go?    

Got a crystal ball have you?

 

Hang on RR, he started with 'Think...' so not stating his opinion as fact. Then stated that we're falling away which in terms of form is undeniable.

Nobody here knows what will happen, but there are clues if you care to employ them.

Edited by mozo
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9 minutes ago, DaveF said:

We’ve probably had one of the most difficult run out of everyone.

Agreed, Norwich, Leeds, Birmingham, and Preston is a tough run of games, so still not sure why everyone is wetting the bed!  However, we have Sheff Utd, Middlesbrough, West Brom and Villa in next 5 games, so we have the opportunity to cement a place by beating those teams, but on current form you can’t see it happening really, but who knows!!

Edited by Tinmans Love Child
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1 hour ago, EnderMB said:

Given how we sold numerous players last season, I'm happy with the position we're in now. We're doing better than we did last season, and although we're on the downhill slope, there is still an opportunity to improve.

If we achieve anything above 10th, I think LJ has done a good job. It doesn't excuse the fact that we've gone on yet another run of losses, but it's a pattern to address, and it's still something to build on.

For me, the most important thing is to ensure that we improve on next season, and to be vocal about what our plans are if, against all odds, we win the playoffs.

Sorry to p on your beliefs but; we actually reached a higher position last season and in my opinion we will finish lower down this season as well. So sorry its not likely

"The pattern to be addressed" we haven't addressed it for the past 3 seasons so why do you think things will change now?

We do a lot of building which is followed by a lot of knocking down....see this summer when half the squad could go.

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1 hour ago, RedM said:

It’s the team with momentum that usually does well in the playoffs isn’t it. For me that team is Preston. I said a couple of weeks ago when I was there that I wouldn’t be visiting Deepdale again, I think that choice will be made for me.

They’ve won their last 6 away games haven’t they? Incredible run in this demanding div...

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41 minutes ago, Bri Stool City said:

Sorry to p on your beliefs but; we actually reached a higher position last season and in my opinion we will finish lower down this season as well. So sorry its not likely

"The pattern to be addressed" we haven't addressed it for the past 3 seasons so why do you think things will change now?

We do a lot of building which is followed by a lot of knocking down....see this summer when half the squad could go.

I'm fine if half the squad go, if it means we continuously improve on our position. As a long-term plan, it's not a terrible one, but it takes time.

Where it all falls to pieces is when we falter. If we finish lower than last season, and have to sell in order to buy, what's the end-game? We'll be slowly building to nothing. That's when it becomes a problem, and when it means LJ needs to go, and serious questions need to be asked of Lansdown.

Frankly, Lansdown's stock seems to have dropped significantly over the years. Before our relegation to League 1 it was rare to hear the fans slagging off Lansdown, whereas nowadays we're a three-game losing streak away from a thread calling for our owner to leave. I think he's done a wonderful job for us, but I think we're a relegation battle away from fans losing faith in the board and wishing for a change upstairs.

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It's more fun being in the chasing pack, you can allow yourself to be optimistic without the weight of expectation. I've not seen Wednesday fans as positive for a couple of years. We've probably left it too late this year, too many sides above of us despite the point gap only being relatively small.

We've still got to go to Leeds, Norwich and Preston plus have Forest and yourselves left to play. 

It's been a strange season, dire until Christmas but much improved since the manager left. The revival began before Bruce came along, but he hasn't lost a game yet. 

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2 hours ago, RedM said:

It’s the team with momentum that usually does well in the playoffs isn’t it. For me that team is Preston. I said a couple of weeks ago when I was there that I wouldn’t be visiting Deepdale again, I think that choice will be made for me.

If we do have to visit again, I'll be taking a coat this time !

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15 minutes ago, Owl Visiting said:

It's more fun being in the chasing pack, you can allow yourself to be optimistic without the weight of expectation. I've not seen Wednesday fans as positive for a couple of years. We've probably left it too late this year, too many sides above of us despite the point gap only being relatively small.

We've still got to go to Leeds, Norwich and Preston plus have Forest and yourselves left to play. 

It's been a strange season, dire until Christmas but much improved since the manager left. The revival began before Bruce came along, but he hasn't lost a game yet. 

You reckon your neighbours are going to do it? Probably need to avoid defeat at Leeds on Sat to have any chance. Hope they do it I HATE LEEDS!

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19 minutes ago, Owl Visiting said:

It's more fun being in the chasing pack, you can allow yourself to be optimistic without the weight of expectation. I've not seen Wednesday fans as positive for a couple of years. We've probably left it too late this year, too many sides above of us despite the point gap only being relatively small.

We've still got to go to Leeds, Norwich and Preston plus have Forest and yourselves left to play. 

It's been a strange season, dire until Christmas but much improved since the manager left. The revival began before Bruce came along, but he hasn't lost a game yet. 

Always interesting to me how the story of the season feeds fans' perspectives. Boro have had a mixed performance, few runs of results, lots of draws, lots of WWLDWDL type sequences, yet 5th and from what I hear, little disgruntlement. Or you can be like Bristol City, astronomical highs, long winning runs, contrasted with Marianas Trench style lows. Or like yourselves, an indifferent first 25 games (one 4 game loss streak aside) and then a late surge, generating as you say, generally a positive feeling perhaps? Just interests me how three teams can be 4 points apart but got there via very different journeys and how that leads to seemingly very different fan attitudes.

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24 minutes ago, Curr Avon said:

Here are the upcoming fixtures.

Like us, Derby don't play again until March 30, and this Saturday Villa host Middlesbrough and Preston host Birmingham City. Forest are at Ipswich.

https://www.skysports.com/championship-fixtures

 

 

 

 

Villa v Boro is very interesting. Villa can scramble back into the top 6 and Boro pulled back into the corridor of uncertainty 

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49 minutes ago, BS4 on Tour... said:

They’ve won their last 6 away games haven’t they? Incredible run in this demanding div...

After the start they had too, don’t think they won a game for the first 10 matches or something like that, crazy

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7 minutes ago, RedM said:

After the start they had too, don’t think they won a game for the first 10 matches or something like that, crazy

Won their first match v QPR...then had to wait until game 12 for the second win.

Actually, have a similar streaky record to us this season. Long streak without a win, then a long streak with no loss, then 5 without a win and now on 10 undefeated.

Edited by ExiledAjax
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1 hour ago, Super said:

You reckon your neighbours are going to do it? Probably need to avoid defeat at Leeds on Sat to have any chance. Hope they do it I HATE LEEDS!

Yeah I think they will. To be honest I think they'll deserve it as well. The top 3 have been far better than the rest of the division and all deserve promotion really. Got a feeling Leeds might be the one to miss out, and as much as I also generally hate them, it'll really annoy me if West Brom or Boro sneak up. 

52 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

Always interesting to me how the story of the season feeds fans' perspectives. Boro have had a mixed performance, few runs of results, lots of draws, lots of WWLDWDL type sequences, yet 5th and from what I hear, little disgruntlement. Or you can be like Bristol City, astronomical highs, long winning runs, contrasted with Marianas Trench style lows. Or like yourselves, an indifferent first 25 games (one 4 game loss streak aside) and then a late surge, generating as you say, generally a positive feeling perhaps? Just interests me how three teams can be 4 points apart but got there via very different journeys and how that leads to seemingly very different fan attitudes.

Yeah, very interesting. I posted on Owlstalk the other night that the positive mood amongst the Preston and Villa fans is probably similar to Wednesday at the moment, whereas Derby, Boro and yourselves is probably less so despite your sides being ahead. All about momentum I guess, but as you say the journey of the season also contributes hugely. 

I think I once read that contrary to the myth that 6th place generally has the best playoff record it's actually the side that finishes 4th. 3rd place is often still in contention for automatic promotion late in the season so can suffer tiredness after a late push. Generally the next best side (in theory) should be the one that finishes 4th. It'll be interesting if one of Leeds/Sheffield United or Norwich suffer the same fate. 

Wagner took Huddersfield into the playoffs having controversially rested most of his players for the last 2 games, but it worked despite everyone tipping Fulham that year. 

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45 minutes ago, ExiledAjax said:

Won their first match v QPR...then had to wait until game 12 for the second win.

Actually, have a similar streaky record to us this season. Long streak without a win, then a long streak with no loss, then 5 without a win and now on 10 undefeated.

I know they had a hell of a lot of injuries at the start of the season, really struggled as their squad isn’t huge too so were picking from their youngsters. They do seem to find players without spending much too, they had a few gems from Ireland I think or did in the past. Very much under the radar are Preston

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5 hours ago, reddogkev said:

There's no way we have a team / squad good enough for the top six this season, yet lo and behold, here we are anyway - all credit to City for still being in with a chance.

My advise is to enjoy the end of a bloody good season and see if we can raise our game again to phenomenal heights, after this lengthy break.

I doubt we will finish top six, we don't have the firepower, as we all know.  But it's going to be an exciting end if we can stay in contention until the last few games.

Also, even taking City out of the equation, I find it incredible how many teams are still in with a genuine shout of 5th and 6th place, what a finish in store for all of us.

COME ON YOU REDS, UP THE CITY!

As long as we do battle, that was an element missing on Tuesday night.

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Its gonna be difficault to be top six, but that also is the cenario for the other clubs. Think that the rest we now got will be good. We have to go in to the right track again. Tempo, rythm, movement. We are still in the fight and nothing is impossible. To be top six we must play better ofcause. Always believe, COYR!!!

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I’m pretty sure if we have a real go at it the players will relax and enjoy the challenge, then the fans will see this ,  feel it also and give them a good atmosphere that they deserve . 

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23 minutes ago, Esmond Million's Bung said:

As long as we do battle, that was an element missing on Tuesday night.

absolutely, we need warriors on the pitch now if we are to succeed this season.  No more weak, timid performances like Tuesday.

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7 hours ago, reddogkev said:

There's no way we have a team / squad good enough for the top six this season, yet lo and behold, here we are anyway - all credit to City for still being in with a chance.

My advise is to enjoy the end of a bloody good season and see if we can raise our game again to phenomenal heights, after this lengthy break.

I doubt we will finish top six, we don't have the firepower, as we all know.  But it's going to be an exciting end if we can stay in contention until the last few games.

Also, even taking City out of the equation, I find it incredible how many teams are still in with a genuine shout of 5th and 6th place, what a finish in store for all of us.

COME ON YOU REDS, UP THE CITY!

We do have a team / squad good enough for top six.  We’ve been in the top 6.  We are 7th, one point behind 6th with a game in hand and we have to play them.  We are 3 points behind 5th and we have to play them too.

Our form over the past 5 league games is crap, but I think we know that very few teams in the Champ pick up their points at a consistent rate, it’s all peaks and troughs.

Wonder what Derby and Boro fans are thinking?

We are as much in it as all the other teams, more so than some of the teams down as far as Brentford in 14th.

We do need to find some form though.  For me it’s a 10 game mini-season (9 for most clubs and 8 for many of them after Saturday) and everything to play for. 

A few more things to unfold this Saturday:

Villa v Boro (Boro play Norwich after that!)

Brentford v West Brom

Preston v Brum

Sheffield Wednesday v Blackburn

Some will improve their chances, the opposite for others.

We need to get behind the boys when we return to matches on 30th March..

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Hi all , regardless of what happens it should be a great end to the season with so many sides in with a shout of the top six , its certainly IMO two from three and I agree with Visiting Owl that I think Leeds may just miss out on the autos , West Brom should be comfortable in the top six and then its a mighty scramble for the rest , Ive thought all season Villa will make the top six and they seem to click with Grealish and with that squad and the money spent they should be top six ! , we have had a very weird season and have had a couple of occasions of genuinely being concerned more about relegation ( Sheff Wed I also think at some point looking at their board was a real concern until the change of management and the superb run since  ) , our run is a little like Millwall last season but for us to make the top six will require something like 1/2 defeats in 21 games ( highly unlikely IMO ) when we still have games at Home ( and we are like you very patchy at home - 1 League Win in 6 ) to Leeds , Sheff Wed , Sheff Utd and Birmingham with very tough away games in the derby at Wigan / Brentford etc , weirdly we have also picked up six points and six straight League away wins but played frankly average at Blackburn and rode our luck and last night was unreal , we could and should have been 3-4 down and we hadn't had a shot on target at Boro until the sending off and the superb Gallagher finish and then there was only one winner ( IMO we are not playing like a top six side and think we will finish 8th to 12th ) , we also have again key injuries to Browne , Gallagher , Potts , Moult and Robinson still out so we are patched up but fighting like hell and Alex Neil is doing one hell of a job ...... I watched your game v Ipswich and its fair to say I thought your keeper had an ' interesting ' debut and you looked a little flat ? but you are very much in the hunt and will be there / there about having watched you at Deepdale ( again another home display in which being kind we where average ) for me its Norwich , Sheff Utd , Leeds , West Brom , Villa and purely looking at the fixtures I think Derby

 

Mortis

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6 hours ago, RedM said:

It’s the team with momentum that usually does well in the playoffs isn’t it. For me that team is Preston. I said a couple of weeks ago when I was there that I wouldn’t be visiting Deepdale again, I think that choice will be made for me.

I agree but we do still have time to become a team with momentum towards the end of the season. 

Oh dear I am being an optimist.......there lies potential disappointment :facepalm:

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37 minutes ago, Mortis said:

Hi all , regardless of what happens it should be a great end to the season with so many sides in with a shout of the top six , its certainly IMO two from three and I agree with Visiting Owl that I think Leeds may just miss out on the autos , West Brom should be comfortable in the top six and then its a mighty scramble for the rest , Ive thought all season Villa will make the top six and they seem to click with Grealish and with that squad and the money spent they should be top six ! , we have had a very weird season and have had a couple of occasions of genuinely being concerned more about relegation ( Sheff Wed I also think at some point looking at their board was a real concern until the change of management and the superb run since  ) , our run is a little like Millwall last season but for us to make the top six will require something like 1/2 defeats in 21 games ( highly unlikely IMO ) when we still have games at Home ( and we are like you very patchy at home - 1 League Win in 6 ) to Leeds , Sheff Wed , Sheff Utd and Birmingham with very tough away games in the derby at Wigan / Brentford etc , weirdly we have also picked up six points and six straight League away wins but played frankly average at Blackburn and rode our luck and last night was unreal , we could and should have been 3-4 down and we hadn't had a shot on target at Boro until the sending off and the superb Gallagher finish and then there was only one winner ( IMO we are not playing like a top six side and think we will finish 8th to 12th ) , we also have again key injuries to Browne , Gallagher , Potts , Moult and Robinson still out so we are patched up but fighting like hell and Alex Neil is doing one hell of a job ...... I watched your game v Ipswich and its fair to say I thought your keeper had an ' interesting ' debut and you looked a little flat ? but you are very much in the hunt and will be there / there about having watched you at Deepdale ( again another home display in which being kind we where average ) for me its Norwich , Sheff Utd , Leeds , West Brom , Villa and purely looking at the fixtures I think Derby

 

Mortis

Could Birmingham, Villa and Sheffield Wednesday all be ruled out due to FFP?  @Mr Popodopolous

Brum most likely to get points deduction.  Villa, a lot depends on holding company I think.  Wednesday 20.7m loss in 16/17, recently announced a change to reporting year, pushing it out 2 months, so haven’t even published 17/18’s yet!  What are they hiding and EFL will be very interested in 18/19’s projected accounts.  Nobody has left for any money in the last two seasons except Jack Hunt (!!).  In the same period they haven’t spent much apart from £10m on Rhodes.  They may be sweating!!

March’s EFL Meeting will be pivotal.

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10 hours ago, Reigate Red said:

I agree but we do still have time to become a team with momentum towards the end of the season. 

Oh dear I am being an optimist.......there lies potential disappointment :facepalm:

I think the momentum will be downwards though as normal after a cup exit/Jan window.

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9 hours ago, Davefevs said:

Could Birmingham, Villa and Sheffield Wednesday all be ruled out due to FFP?  @Mr Popodopolous

Brum most likely to get points deduction.  Villa, a lot depends on holding company I think.  Wednesday 20.7m loss in 16/17, recently announced a change to reporting year, pushing it out 2 months, so haven’t even published 17/18’s yet!  What are they hiding and EFL will be very interested in 18/19’s projected accounts.  Nobody has left for any money in the last two seasons except Jack Hunt (!!).  In the same period they haven’t spent much apart from £10m on Rhodes.  They may be sweating!!

March’s EFL Meeting will be pivotal.

Has any team yet ever had a big points deduction for spending too much, that cost them promotion?

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11 hours ago, Davefevs said:

Could Birmingham, Villa and Sheffield Wednesday all be ruled out due to FFP?  @Mr Popodopolous

Brum most likely to get points deduction.  Villa, a lot depends on holding company I think.  Wednesday 20.7m loss in 16/17, recently announced a change to reporting year, pushing it out 2 months, so haven’t even published 17/18’s yet!  What are they hiding and EFL will be very interested in 18/19’s projected accounts.  Nobody has left for any money in the last two seasons except Jack Hunt (!!).  In the same period they haven’t spent much apart from £10m on Rhodes.  They may be sweating!!

March’s EFL Meeting will be pivotal.

Well if all our rivals are deducted points, the play-offs are ours!

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3 minutes ago, mozo said:

Well if all our rivals are deducted points, the play-offs are ours!

Every cloud :whistle:

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3 hours ago, Bri Stool City said:

Has any team yet ever had a big points deduction for spending too much, that cost them promotion?

Our 6 fingered friends.  Not under FFP rules, but not only were they denied promotion, they were punished further by relegation....in effect a two division relegation!!

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13 hours ago, Davefevs said:

Could Birmingham, Villa and Sheffield Wednesday all be ruled out due to FFP?  @Mr Popodopolous

Brum most likely to get points deduction.  Villa, a lot depends on holding company I think.  Wednesday 20.7m loss in 16/17, recently announced a change to reporting year, pushing it out 2 months, so haven’t even published 17/18’s yet!  What are they hiding and EFL will be very interested in 18/19’s projected accounts.  Nobody has left for any money in the last two seasons except Jack Hunt (!!).  In the same period they haven’t spent much apart from £10m on Rhodes.  They may be sweating!!

March’s EFL Meeting will be pivotal.

It will indeed!

Birmingham should be any week now, it's been dragged out for far too long already- not fair on either the rest of the division, or not that I have much sympathy, them...

Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday. Well in trouble you'd think- the only risk here is that Aston Villa somehow get their HS2 compensation to give them a small reprieve or have made an arrangement to sell Grealish for say £25-30m and backdate...that'd solve one issue for them but leave them with an enormous hole if they stay down if it's the latter to fill for next season.

Sheffield Wednesday? Again look in trouble but right near the release of their accounts, shifted their reporting period date to end of July 2018 from end of May 2018- that may enable Rhodes off the wage bill for a month, the Hunt sale to be counted in last seasons accounts and any released off the wage bill. They also have some scheme apparently to try to raise revenue- 1867 Scheme, they maybe trying to stave off the inevitable, scramble to just within compliance for now and sell say Reach in the summer. Whether it'll work I doubt but can't see the EFL being so harsh as with Birmingham if they show that they are actively trying to comply. 6 point deduction due to no aggravated breach for this year should eliminate them from playoff contention. :fingerscrossed:

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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