Blackpool Supporters' Trust has little faith in EFL plans

Blackpool Supporters' Trust says it has little faith in the EFL being able to successfully implement its rule changes regarding the conduct of owners.

Saturday, 16th June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 6:06 pm
EFL chairman Ian Lenagan has proposed a new policy disciplining owners conduct
EFL chairman Ian Lenagan has proposed a new policy disciplining owners conduct

Three formal proposals were voted into EFL regulations after the organisation’s annual general meeting, which was held in Portugal last Friday.

A club charter has been introduced, which the EFL states will act as a statement of its commitment to run clubs to the “highest possible standards in a professional manner and with the utmost integrity”.

EFL chairman Ian Lenagan also proposed the adoption of a new policy of taking direct action against individuals who fail to meet the standards that are expected of them.

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The EFL’s board will look to adopt the policy at its next meeting on July 26.

The proposals followed the Owners’ Conduct Review, which began in September 2017 following a number of concerns in the area of club ownership.

BST chair Christine Seddon said the proposals were “vague” and doubts the EFL will ever be the right body to make meaningful change.

She told The Gazette: “The fact that the EFL are discussing some of the important issues which have been concerning football supporters for a long time can only be a good thing.

“The increase in supporter pressure over the last couple of years has highlighted the many issues which current football governance simply does not deal with, so any positive action is to be welcomed.

“However, the statement from the EFL is rather vague and without more detail as to what the proposals entail and how they intend to enforce any new rules, it is difficult to comment.

“The EFL is a self-serving organisation which represents its members - the football clubs themselves - rather than the game as a whole.

“It is difficult to see therefore how they can be depended upon to introduce meaningful regulations which would need to be applied indiscriminately if their individual members (i.e. owners of clubs) misbehave.

“Is self-regulation really going to work when it has failed so spectacularly thus far?

“Change has to start somewhere and the fact that these issues are even being discussed is a positive move.

“However, the glacial pace at which these reviews have been conducted so far causes huge frustration for supporters of football clubs which are already struggling under poor ownership and need action now, not at some distant time yet to be appointed.

“It is already too late for the fans of Blackpool FC who have suffered the most extreme circumstances of any of the crisis clubs so far and are still waiting for the law to run its course. As the guardians of our game, they have been utterly impotent.

“Whilst we welcome the fact that these proposals are basically an admission that the current system does not work, there is a very long way to go before we have a system which is fit for purpose.

“It seems unlikely that the existing authorities will ever be independent enough to oversee that.”