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Radical plans for Football League and football calendar revealed

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Football League clubs have until tomorrow to respond to a communication from Football League officials regarding its “Whole Game Solution” proposals.

In August, the Football League sent out a communication to all 72 of its member clubs seeking their views on radical proposals that would reshape much of the current English footballing calendar.

Clubs are being asked for submissions on the possibility of a winter break, regionalisation of the bottom two divisions and adding 12 new clubs to the Football League (and where those additional teams should come from).

Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey is also seeking feedback on potential changes to the FA Cup – maximising the number of weekends and bank holiday weekends for Premier League and Football League fixtures.

It is suggested that this would require starting the Premier League season earlier and moving FA Cup rounds into mid-week slots.

Doncaster Rovers are one club who have consulted with their fans having met with their supporters’ board at the weekend.

Martin O’Hara, FSF deputy chair and member of that board said: “A lot of supporters believe that this is an attempt to introduce Premier League B-teams.

“Although there is a 90% acceptance rule in place, unfortunately there’s a suspicion among fans that such safeguards could be done away with.

“Our club is trying to do the right thing by engaging with supporters on these proposals. But there needs to be proper consultation at every club.”

 The chief executive of Doncaster Rovers has responded to the Football League on the proposals – he is seeking further information on the Football League’s longer term objectives and motives.

A potential restructure of the Football League was first announced back in May but no detailed proposals were seen at the time – this document now sheds light on those proposals.

As the first stage of the Football League’s consultation on the Whole Game Solution, clubs have until this Friday 2nd of September to respond.

The Football League say the second stage will see fans consulted – it will be top of the agenda when league officials meet with the FSF and representatives from club supporters’ groups in October.

FSF chief executive Kevin Miles said: “These proposals include significant changes to the traditional footballing calendar and will have major ramifications right down to the roots of our game.

“It is vital that one of the groups most affected by these potential changes, football supporters, are consulted properly and listened to.

“We’re asking all clubs in the Football League to speak with their supporters on these ideas urgently.”

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