Championship season has to be played to a finish on the pitch, says Dean Ashton

Dean Ashton has insisted the EFL season has to be battled out to a conclusion on the pitch.

The former Norwich and West Ham striker says promotion and relegation issues are too close to being decided to declare the campaign void.

There is a growing debate among lower division clubs over whether to end the season now and start afresh in front of crowds when football’s lockdown ends.

Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt says clubs face ruin if the campaign continues without fans in June or July.

But Quest EFL pundit Ashton said: “We have gone too far with this season for it to be cancelled. There have been too many games played.

“Too many teams have got themselves into positions, both good and bad, and it wouldn’t seem fair for the season to be declared null and void.

“They have to finish this season. If that means behind closed doors to get the season finished, then so be it.

“Take a look at all the EFL league positions. League One is especially tight and a lot of teams can still get promoted.

“Wycombe, in eighth, are three points off automatic promotion. You’d open up a lot of legal ramifications as well.

“Fans would accept the season carrying on – even those in jeopardy of relegation. It should be done properly.”

Ashton reckons that behind-closed-doors games will sacrifice atmosphere, as well as turnstile cash, and won’t be popular.

He added: “We hate it as players. Speak to any player who has played in reserve games or pre-season warm-ups. There is no atmosphere without the fans.

“Now that I have retired, I understand more about how the game is about the fans – not the players. How much it means to supporters to go year in, year out and it takes over their lives.

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