The English Football League executives’ board are set to discuss possible reforms to rules, which would allow them to intervene against incompetent and inept owners, according to the Evening Standard.
The EFL without a doubt faces one of the largest exponential crises since its formation in 1888. The rift between owners and fans has widened and as a result, fans are rallying in protest and uproar to remove their owners which are damaging their clubs. The likes of Charlton Athletic with Roland Duchatelet, Blackpool with the Oyston family, Leyton Orient with Francesco Becchetti, Nottingham Forest with Fawaz, Coventry City with SISU, and Blackburn Rovers with the Venkys family comes to mind.
The video below puts into perspective the scale of this issue facing the integrity and dignity of the league, but it is not the fans behaviour, it is the incompetence and simple destructiveness of owners which is threatening the English Football League.
Not only is the blame sitting with the owners, but passionate and devoted fans which are seeing their clubs in decline under their respective owners, are now starting to doubt the integrity of the English Football League and the Football Association for not stepping in, and they are rightly also being blamed.
The Football Association is the governing body of football in England but refuses to show any intent of caring about the decline of these clubs and to help the fans.
The English Football League specifically, does not currently have the power or ability to step in and help the fans, and currently are only able to do so if their league regulations and rules are violated. Otherwise, once the ownership has passed the ‘Fit and Proper Test’ which has also been brought into question, the EFL is unable to act.
However, the recent unfortunate and sad decline of Leyton Orient being relegated out of the Football League after an 112-year stay, and the fact it was just three years ago they were in a League One playoff final to now being set for National Conference football, as well as players and staff not being paid, the EFL has been pressured to review its rules.
Copa90, the independent football channel based on YouTube recently created a documentary on the decline of Leyton Orient, which can be seen below.
The publicity and simple outrage by not only Orient fans, but the football family, in general, has pressured the English Football League senior management and executives to discuss the idea of reforming their rules in order to be able to protect clubs against situations that Orient has faced in recent years under Francesco Becchetti.
English Football League Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Harvey, spoke to the Evening Standard.
“I am certain over the coming months we will be looking at the relationship between the EFL and the club owners to see if there is anything the clubs think we will be doing to protect the reputation of our clubs and the league itself,” he said.
“It is something I am sure the board will want to look at. I think I would be very interested in having a debate as to what is possible for us to achieve.
“How far that goes will never be far enough for some. We have got to find the right level for doing that. We want to see good owners of football clubs running stable clubs where fans are able to enjoy the football. We are never going to achieve that across 72 clubs at the same time. What we have got to is get the majority to that position.
“I would never want to see another Orient. I do not think anyone is comfortable with the breakdown in relations at Coventry. You look at other clubs where the relationship could not be better. We have such a wide breadth of clubs and club owners. One size fits all will never work. What we have got to do is work on the extremes.”
If the EFL executives decide to propose rule reform, it would then go to its membership clubs which would require 50% backing from League One and League Two clubs (as one block) and 50% backing from Championship clubs (as one block).
Harvey continued speaking to The Evening Standard and discussed why the EFL currently cannot intervene.
“We do have a rule on how much clubs can spend or how they must conduct themselves. They are in the context of protecting an even competition on the field, rather than any wider powers. There have been any numbers of examples this year that has put the approach to this area from the league in closer scrutiny.”