June 14, 2016
Supporters of teams in EFL Division One and Two are asking the question.
Did our board members who attended the EFL AGM in Portugal last week vote in favour of the changes to the EFL Trophy competition for 2016/17?
This competition is the replacement for the one previously sponsored by Johnstone’s Paint.
So far it is claimed that 9 clubs did not support the revised format.
9 out of 48. Is that all the clubs that opposed this major “one-year pilot” change?
The clubs that have made a statement to date that they are not in favour of the revised set-up are:-
- Accrington Stanley
- AFC Wimbledon
- Bristol Rovers
- Fleetwood Town
- Hartlepool United
- Luton Town
- Port Vale
That leaves 39 other clubs who either voted for it or are not commenting at present.
50% of the sides in League One and Two had to approve the proposal or it would not have been passed.
To read more about the Proposed EFL Trophy changes for 2016/17:- CLICK HERE
Among the clubs who have explained why they voted for the changes there are club statements from:-
Chesterfield, Southend United, Oxford United, Exeter City, Notts County, Cambridge United, Carlisle United, and Peterborough United among others.
The reasons some clubs supported the revised format are shown below.
Oxford United (as a club statement):
“Along with the majority of other clubs, the Oxford United Board voted to support this proposal strictly for one season only, having taken the wider deep concerns for the future of the competition into consideration. The Oxford United Board’s vote was tight and while Chairman Darryl Eales was against the proposal, overall it was decided to support the League’s appeal to explore ways to secure the cup’s future and Darryl respected the overall vote. We understand that many supporters will be surprised by this and some will disagree, however following careful consideration and discussion, overall the Board decided it was important to support and explore ways to ensure the competition can survive.”
Cambridge United Chief Executive Jez George (via Cambridge News):
“It was something discussed a year ago and it makes some sense to revamp that competition in the early stages. For a season there’s no harm in it and people can have a look at it. I think it needs a shot in the arm in the early stages because the games aren’t very well attended. They (the EFL) have got to be seen to be doing the right thing for English football and it’s a way of doing that because it gives the bigger clubs in the country the chance to put their young players up against some teams lower down the pyramid. It will definitely benefit those bigger clubs because it gives them the chance to put their young players in some big stadiums and in front of bigger crowds. That’s what they want and is why they send their players out on loan to clubs in League One and League Two.”
Chesterfield Chief Executive Chris Turner (via Chesterfield website):
“We did speak out against the proposed change at the regional meeting, prior to voting. We are fully aware of the potential problems and obviously it makes it harder for EFL clubs to win the competition. It soon became obvious during the discussions, however, that more clubs were in favour of making the change. The Premier League supports the EFL massively and I think the feeling was that we should go with their suggestion for one season.”
Carlisle United Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens (via Carlisle website):
“The Club thought long and carefully about its position. It is a competition the Club has enjoyed lots of success in and so any changes must not be taken lightly from our perspective. We all want to see a thriving Trophy that excites fans, and makes them want to watch the games, and we must do all we can to make that happen. In supporting a short-term trial we are simply being open minded as to possibility that the changes could improve a competition that we hold very dearly – there is no certainty yet either way. The EFL wants to do what it can in support of an overall commitment to helping to create more and better home grown players across the wider game, and as long as the changes are not detrimental we want to play our part and work together to do that. At the end of the competition we will reconsider our position.”
Exeter City (as a club statement):
“The decision to support the proposal (strictly for one season only) was not taken lightly, and was made primarily for two reasons. Firstly, the EFL Trophy will allow a unique opportunity for our own U21s to gain genuine valuable first team experience. The possibility of being drawn away to a Category 1 Premier League Academy/Under-21 side at a Premiership venue, would provide both crucial player experience, and an event for fans to enjoy. Secondly, the much needed reboot of the competition, currently without a sponsor, will provide increased revenue from central funding, match-day receipts and TV and prize money (which is double next season); an opportunity the Club could ill afford to lose out on.”
Notts County (as a club statement):
“Taking into consideration the wider concerns for the future of the competition, Notts County voted to support this proposal, along with the majority of other clubs, for one season only to secure the immediate future of the cup. Notts County supported the decision to trial a solution to save the competition, which currently does not have a sponsor. This is for a set period of one year and if the proposals do not work, they will not be renewed for the following season.”
Peterborough United (Chief Executive Bob Symns, Peterborough Evening Telegraph)
“Everyone has been moaning about this competition for years, including the clubs. This is an opportunity to freshen it up and create extra interest. We are lucky enough to have won the competition, but some clubs have never got near to winning it. I will stress, and it was stressed repeatedly at the meeting, that it’s a one-year trial. If it doesn’t work and the clubs and their supporters are unhappy with how it works, it will be thrown out the following season. There are concerns and my biggest is the danger of two Premier League Under 21 sides reaching the final. It would be wrong if a Football League club cannot win its own trophy. There are more details to emerge, but I understand the games the Academy sides play at home will be at the first team stadia. The vote for change was won comfortably. The League One and Two clubs voted with the Championship clubs agreeing to back the decision of the clubs in the bottom two divisions.”