Yesterday's Football League matches cemented further how things will be looking for the 2012-13 season in League One. All Championship relegation places have now been decided, meaning there will be no final day drama. Last weekend, when Doncaster Rovers were relegated by one of their fellow bottom three side - this time round, they managed to ensure that Coventry City were dragged down with them, thanks to two late goals - James Hayter and former Glovers loan midfielder Simon Gillett sending the Sky Blues down. This will be Coventry's first season at this level since 1964.
When Doncaster's fate was sealed last weekend, it was Portsmouth who got a stay of execution. Not so this time round, as Pompey succumbed to a home defeat against Derby County, meaning that the Hampshire side will definitely play Third Tier football next year. The last time Portsmouth dropped down to this level was back in 1976, and on that occasion they even fell down to the old Fourth Division two years later as they went close to becoming bankrupt.
Back in 1976, it was £25,000 they needed - this time round it's a mere £58 million worth of debt they need to have bailed out after going into administration for the second time in three years. During their 2009 administration, Pompey reached a level of £138 million, which eventually was cut down to £38 million when they agreed their CVA with creditors.
Having managed to somehow rack up £20 million of operational debt during that period, they are now expected to undergo a significant cull of their squad, with administrator Trevor Birch indicating that relegation will cost them £1.3 million in income. Manager Michael Appleton is certainly bracing himself for a big change in circumstances:
"I am not confident of keeping hold of the better players at the club and it would be naive to think otherwise. There is a lot that needs to be changed, especially the wage structure and we cannot cope with it as it is. Something has to give, players have to leave and our biggest assets will leave the club.
You're not really sure what type of budget you're going to be working with, although if I was a betting man, I'd guess it'll be less than fifty percent of what it is now. I think there will be a lot of players leaving the football club because if we don't do that, there won't be a football club beyond May. I think that's one thing which is going to happen very, very quickly. If I have to start with a blank piece of paper with no names on it, so be it; as long as we can shape things for next year."
As yet, Portsmouth have no firm buyers, and the administrator has yet to rule out the liquidation of the club. Assuming Pompey do survive though, they'll thankfully find it harder to continue their practice of living beyond their means - the start of the 2012-13 season will see the Football League introduce salary capping to League One
Back in League One, Charlton Athletic turned last week's guaranteed promotion into the guarantee of the divisional title, having in turn dented Wycombe Wanders' chances of survival with a 2-1 win at The Valley. The second promotion slot looks likely to go down to the final day, with both Sheffield clubs just a point apart with two games left.
Rochdale are so far the only League One side to definitely be relegated, although next weekend's visitors Chesterfield will arrive at Huish Park needing to win to survive - the same applies to Exeter City who will go down if they fail to win at Carlisle United. As Wycombe can now only reach 49 points, all other teams are safe with the exception of Leyton Orient and Walsall.
In League Two, Swindon Town guaranteed promotion, despite losing at Gillingham. Realistically Shrewsbury Town should join them, needing two points to mathematically secure their promotion, although their goal difference means one point should do it. The final automatic slot will come from Crawley Town, Torquay United or Southend United.
Relegated From Championship Division: Doncaster Rovers, Coventry City, Portsmouth.
Automatic Promotion From League One: Charlton Athletic (Champions) and one of Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday.
League One Play-Offs: Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, plus Milton Keynes Dons and Huddersfield Town. Then one of Stevenage, Notts County, Carlisle United or Brentford.
Relegated From League One: Rochdale. Plus three from Exeter City, Chesterfield, Wycombe Wanderers, Walsall or Leyton Orient.
Promoted From League Two: Swindon Town. Plus two from Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town, Torquay United or Southend United.
League Two play-offs: Two from Shrewsbury Town, Crawley Town, Torquay United or Southend United. Plus two from Cheltenham Town, Crewe Alexandra, Oxford United, Gillingham, Rotherham United or Aldershot.
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