BIRKENHEAD MP Mick Whitley has slammed Tranmere Rovers relegation to League Two as a "a body blow to the club and the town".

In a vote yesterday afternoon, League One clubs overwhelmingly voted to curtail the season now rather than play it to its completion, adopting a points per game system for the remaining matches that sees Rovers lose their League One status for the 2019/20 season.

In a statement overnight, Mick Whitley (pictured, below) pledged to do all he could to help Tranmere and its fans in the days ahead.

Wirral Globe:

Mr Whitley's statement in full:

"Tranmere Rovers Football Club have been relegated. Not because they lost too many games but because the English Football League (EFL) decided to end the season and promote and relegate teams on their points per game so far.

"Not only is this unfair, it is punitive. The football teams in the lower leagues operate on a financial shoestring.

"They do not enjoy the billions that are poured into the Premier League by the big television corporations. They rely on their supporters coming through the gates and the small sums they can glean from sponsorship and advertising.

"Taking a decision to end the season – rather than void it – is a financial penalty which has been inflicted on these clubs. They will automatically earn considerably less as a result of relegation and their futures have been placed in doubt.

"And for the Tranmere fans – who have done much to help and support the vulnerable communities in Birkenhead during this pandemic – it is a slap in the face.

"Tranmere’s Chair Mark Palios had put forward alternative proposals as had Barnsley. But at the Emergency General Meeting of the EFL these were voted down. It is hard not to conclude that self-interest triumphed over fairness.

"As the MP for Birkenhead I am both upset and appalled at this terrible turn of events.

"I pledge to do all I can to help Tranmere and its fans in the days ahead. But the wider issue of how football is financed, run and governed is posed by this decision.

"The obscene riches at the top end are not trickling down to the lower and non-league clubs, to grass roots football.

"They are being syphoned off by those at the top. And in the process the lifeblood of football – the loyal fans in the left behind towns, the skilful young players nurtured via the lower league clubs and the communities that those clubs both serve and act as a vital hub for – is being drained away from the game.

"It is time for a review and I hope that the EFL agrees to a meeting with both the Minister for Sport and the Shadow Minister, Wirral South’s MP Alison McGovern, to urgently discuss how we can fix this broken system and give clubs like Tranmere the future they truly deserve."

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