Statement on “Whole Game Solution” Proposals.

Prior to the EFL Meeting, which was held today, the Club asked supporters for their views on the WGS Proposals by asking them to complete a Survey. The views of the CTSA Board were also sought.

Please find our Statement below:

Thoughts of the CTSA Board, regarding the new Whole Game Solution Proposals.

It would appear from reading the Proposals that the lower EFL Football Clubs are not the priority in these proposals and are the ones who will lose football and have their Leagues diluted to accommodate what we believe, will be B teams from EPL Clubs. These B teams (U23s, previously U21s) have already been introduced into the EFL Trophy, which has already seen the lowest gates for many Clubs, compared with the previous FL Trophy. In the view of the Board of the CTSA the WGS Proposals appear to be there just to benefit the EPL.

A Winter Break is of little interest to fans who support lower EFL teams. Yet again, the promise of EPL money is being used to get these proposals through for the benefit of the English Premier League and not the members of the EFL. Will the Winter Break just mean that EPL Clubs can now go on World Tours to earn SKY more revenue by televising them, and leave an even bigger gap between the EPL and EFL? We already know that games can be postponed, due to the weather in any month, not just during the Winter. As recently as last week we saw the UCL game at the Etihad Stadium postponed due to storms.

The loss of a number of EFL games would be costly for lower EFL Clubs with regards to revenue and cash flow. Plenty struggle as it is, without reducing the number of games and income. Fans want to see more football, not less of it.

The “Magic of the FA Cup” for lower EFL teams is something that all supporters look forward to, on the Saturdays that they are currently planned for. Why on earth would the EFL be keen to move those Saturday fixtures to midweek, when lots of people would not be able to attend? And, no replays? Replays are a source of additional income for lower EFL Clubs and this, we very much doubt, would be compensated for. It also takes away the tradition of the FA Cup. This would appear to be a further dilution of a once great competition.

Whilst we do agree on the value regionalisation of the bottom of the EFL will bring (this would save small Clubs on travel costs and travelling long distances especially on a Tuesday night where no one really benefits), this would be a small compensation for the huge negative effect that these proposals could bring to the EFL.

Perhaps, some of the money which has been proposed, should be used to bring back a Reserve League, so that squad players of all teams can keep up their fitness and get more chance to play football. This might alleviate the need to bring in so many foreign players at a higher level, leaving the lower league players more chance of progressing in the game.

In conclusion, like many supporters, we oppose many of the proposals and would urge the Club to vote against the Whole Game Solution Proposal at the next EFL Conference.

CTSA Board – 19th September 2016