The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

THE EFL have pledged that dia­logue will con­tinue with a range of par­ties – in­clud­ing fans – af­ter the de­ci­sion was made to veto Pre­mier League B teams. A six-week con­sul­ta­tion process with the 72 clubs, who are ex­pected to vote on a fi­nal pro­posal in June 2017 which could then come into ef­fect in 2019-20, saw con­sid­er­a­tion of the is­sues of re­gion­al­i­sa­tion, the num­ber of teams per divi­sion, di­vi­sional re­struc­ture, a win­ter break and from where in the game the ad­di­tional teams would come from. The ma­jor­ity of th­ese is­sues will con­tinue to be as­sessed as dis­cus­sions take place over the next two months, but the op­tion of sourc­ing ad­di­tional clubs from any­where but the Na­tional League has been with­drawn. In ad­di­tion, feed­back has con­firmed that clubs in League One, Two and the pro­posed League Three would want to play through a win­ter break if in­tro­duced. Af­ter a meet­ing with mem­ber clubs on Thurs­day, EFL chief ex­ec­u­tive Shaun Har­vey said: “At the very out­set of this process it was made clear that any de­ci­sions in re­spect of the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the Whole Game So­lu­tion would be taken by clubs them­selves. “I am ex­tremely grate­ful for their can­dour and sup­port dur­ing the first part of this con­sul­ta­tion that will ul­ti­mately help shape a fi­nal pro­posal for vot­ing on in June next year. “The log­i­cal place for many was to source the ad­di­tional teams for League Three from the Na­tional League but we felt it im­por­tant that the de­bate was in­tro­duced at an early stage and an op­por­tu­nity was pro­vided for all club own­ers and ex­ec­u­tives to voice any opin­ions and, where ap­pli­ca­ble, ta­ble con­cerns. “We will now con­tinue our con­sul­ta­tion with the Na­tional League with a lit­tle more cer­tainty as to what any change could mean for them. Th­ese con­ver­sa­tions will in­clude the FA in their ca­pac­ity as the gov­ern­ing body not a com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser. “In ad­di­tion, our dia­logue will con­tinue with the Pre­mier League as we fo­cus on en­sur­ing we achieve our spe­cific and pri­mary ob­jec­tive of im­prov­ing dis­tributable rev­enue to our clubs and reach­ing a for­mat that ben­e­fits the EFL, its com­pe­ti­tions and the wider pro­fes­sional game. “The next round of con­sul­ta­tion will also see us un­der­take some work with fan groups and other stake­hold­ers to en­sure that those peo­ple who are in­vested in the fu­ture of our game are given an op­por­tu­nity to regis­ter their views.”

GRATE­FUL: Shaun Har­vey

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