EFL Fan Forum
I was one of the fans who attended an English Football League Fan Forum on Monday evening. I think we all found it informative and enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed the session led by Chris Foy, on rule changes and refereeing decisions.
Russell Dempsey has produced a good account of the meeting for the Joys and Sorrows website and I don’t want to repeat what he has already written. But I do want to add some comments on the question and answer session. I was disappointed that it came right at the end of the meeting, with not much time allowed for it. The meeting was scheduled to finish at 9.45 pm and the Q&A started at 9.30. I was given the opportunity to ask the Blues Trust question at 9.50.
I asked about EFL Regulation 112, which states that Clubs shall hold at least two meetings/fans forums per Season to which supporters (or representatives) are to be invited in order to discuss significant issues relating to the Club and that Clubs must be represented by the Club’s majority owner, board director(s) or other senior executive(s). I asked what was meant by “senior executives” and was told that this wasn’t defined because Clubs were organised in different ways. I expressed my concern that the executives who came to meetings at my Club were not able to answer all our questions and was told that concern would be noted and relayed back to the EFL. They really couldn’t say anything else because the people at the meeting were not the decision makers. It is the Clubs who vote on such decisions.
Someone asked why away fans are made to travel such long distances on weekday nights. The answer was that Clubs want matches scheduled so that they are most financially profitable. The Guardian quoted Shaun Harvey who said:
“We make a conscious scheduling decision to try to keep matches such as local derbies – or those teams you can travel to in an hour or hour and a half – at weekends because more people are able to get to them,” Harvey said. “So, rather than having a local derby on a Tuesday night, where people are generally working and the crowds will be much lower, we work on a basis of trying to get maximum crowds, which can be achieved only at weekends. The flipside of that, of course, is those games at a distance have to go into midweek.”
Football seems to be all about the money these days.