Already since the survey closed several days ago, the landscape of English football has changed significantly. England manager Sam Allardyce departed the role after a Daily Telegraph undercover report filmed and accused him of selling information to help break the FA’s third party ownership laws. Several Football League figures were accused several days later.
One of the most serious allegations in the Telegraph’s #football4sale investigation is Massimo Cellino’s offer to sell a stake of the club for a return on player transfer profits. Yet this frankly incredible revelation remains unchallenged. Tommy Wright’s £5,000 bung goes under the carpet. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink remained on the touchline at the weekend with no oversight at all.
At this moment in the history of the English game, how can the governing bodies force through the ludicrous Whole Game Solution reform – with only 12 months of debate on a series of changes that will fundamentally alter football for years to come? How can that debate properly take place in light of incredible corruption allegations being made on an almost daily basis? When will non-league have a thorough and detailed say into it’s own future, considering the vote for WGS is only really a few months away? Has the EFL considered what the effects of taking teams or regionalisation would be for hundreds of teams lower down the pyramid?
The results below show a strong rejection of WGS and it’s associated plans by English football fans. When considering the consensus amongst supporters, and in the wake of the recent corruption allegations within the EFL – Against League 3 believes all competition reform for English competitions should be postponed until adequate investigations have been completed by the Police, the FA, The Premier League and The EFL.
Different questions were presented to different sets of fans based on the league in which they say their favourite team played.
Over 93% of supporters said they thought that the EFL Trophy changes to introduce Cat One academy teams or B-Teams was not successful in anyway. 46% of fans think the EFL Trophy should be replaced with a brand new competition (split against several different formats) while 38% thought the EFL Trophy should revert back to the previous format.
We asked: How successful do you feel the EFL Trophy changes (to introduce U23 academy sides) have been?
There was strong consensus that a winter break is not required for either The Premier League or the Football League. 84% of fans disagreed with a winter break for The Premier League while 93% disagreed with a winter break for the Football League.
81% of League 1 and League 2 fans who responded to the survey say they boycotted all EFL Trophy games as part of the #BTeamBoycott – 11% said they boycotted only EFL Trophy games against B-Teams.
Fans say no to WGS
There was also a strong indication that supporters want their clubs to vote AGAINST the WGS proposals to be presented at the end season Football League AGM. 87.% of Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs said they wanted their clubs to vote against the measures.
82% of fans also disagreed with the plans to add teams to the Football League. 82.6% said the Football League should not move to a system of 100 (or more) teams. 12.4% said they were undecided, 5% said they agreed with the measures.
In a situation requiring additional teams (the creation of League 3 by a vote of EFL clubs) – an overwhelming 98.3% of fans said additional clubs should come from The National League. 4.5% said Celtic/Range, 3.0% said elsewhere in the UK and 0.4% (just two people) said Premier League academy teams.
89.1% of fans said the bottom league(s) of the Football League should not be regionalised. There was also strong support for The FA Cup, with 80.2% supporting the current format and scheduling. 36% were open to change if a better format of suggested, but 55% of supporters said no changes at all were necessary for The FA Cup. A little over 5% said the FA cup needed change or major change.
42% of fans told the survey parachute payments were unfair and should be scrapped. 16.3% admitted the system was unfair but that a better solution was not available. 28% said parachute payments should stay but be reduced, but only 4.8% said there was no issue with parachute payments.