Why the English Championship finale has irked Hearts fans over SPFL season termination

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The denouement of the second tier in England will have resonated with the Tynecastle support

The English Championship concluded in typically eventful fashion on Wednesday evening following its resumption after the lockdown.

There was drama at the top of the table as well as at the bottom where a number of teams have been slugging it out to avoid relegation.

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Come the full-time whistles around England, Hull City, Wigan Athletic and Charlton Athletic are the teams set to be relegated.

The English Championship made interesting viewing for Hearts fans. Picture: SNSThe English Championship made interesting viewing for Hearts fans. Picture: SNS
The English Championship made interesting viewing for Hearts fans. Picture: SNS

It was noted by many Hearts fans that none of those teams occupied positions in the bottom five with six fixtures remaining.

In fact none of the bottom five were relegated, albeit Barnsley survived due to Wigan being placed in administration and suffering the 12-point deduction which comes with that.

Supporters used it as strong evidence regarding the club’s own plight after they were relegated from the Scottish Premiership following the SPFL’s resolution which terminated the leagues on a points-per-game basis.

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It saw the club consigned to the second tier with an average points total of just 0.77.

The Tynecastle club were four points adrift with eight games remaining when the league was called. While there was a view that the club were heading towards the Championship, many saw the gap as far from insurmountable and it being realistic that then boss Daniel Stendel would have steered the team to safety, even if it was via the Premiership play-off.

How the Championship played out only strengthened a sense of injustice amongst Hearts supporters as they face at least a season outside the top-flight.

The club, along with Partick Thistle, continue to fight their corner through the Scottish FA’s arbitration process which is currently ongoing with just over a week remaining until the start of the Scottish Premiership season.

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Any chance of survival on the field, however, would have been dependent on the Scottish Government’s allowance for the 2019/20 season to resume. It has to be noted that top-flight clubs were only allowed to return to training towards the end of June with contact training given the go-ahead at a later date.