Former Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton has revealed that he feels sorry for Sunderland ahead of what could be a points-per-game finish to the League One season.
With the Premier League and Championship gradually returning to training ahead of potential restarts to the 2019/2020 season, League One clubs are eagerly anticipating a decision to be made over their future.
Sunderland, who sit seventh in the league standings are on course to miss out on a play-off place if the current campaign is cancelled and ended on a points-per-game system.
Despite sitting three points off second place, the Black Cats would drop down to eighth position of the PPG system is used.
However, despite claims on how the season should be completed, it is also reported that League One clubs are at odds over how to finish.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ The Football Show, Barton said: “I’d prefer to finish the campaign, we’ve been quite vocal about that from the start. We believe we could have got [one of] the [automatic promotion places], I think we’d had one defeat in 17, unbeaten in 12 and been away to every side who had a chance of winning the league.
“We had to play nine games, six of those were in the bottom 10, three of those six were in the bottom three, you’d argue Bolton and Southend were already down and probably only Tranmere fighting for survival there – so we felt like we had a shot at the automatics, we were two points behind Rotherham with them to play at home.
“We’re disappointed in this but we will get a chance with a play-off situation and I do feel sorry for Sunderland – I never thought I’d say that – but I do feel sorry for them.”
Barton is the current manager of Fleetwood, see his side sit 5th place in the league standings as thing stand, just seven points off league leaders Coventry City.
A potential PPG system would see Barton’s side drop to 6th but hold on to a play-off spot, ahead of Peterborough.
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