Yeovil Town FC have provided its official response to the EFL regarding the 'Whole Game Solution' proposals.
The proposals were first put forward to members of the Football League in June during a meeting of all EFL members, with subsequent meetings between the Yeovil Town FC board of directors culminating in the following conclusions.
Fans from lower league Clubs already see the distribution of funds within the football pyramid to be vastly unequal, therefore any 'Whole Game Solution' proposal must address this issue.
It is a fact that Clubs operating in the Premier League and Championship are getting richer and Clubs further down the pyramid, such as Yeovil, are getting poorer each season. With this in mind, change is required, but we do not need a 'Whole Game Solution' that covers over this fact. We should cherish and protect the game at the lower end of the pyramid, otherwise good Clubs are going to forced back into semi-professional football. Is that the "End Game" that is being proposed through the 'Whole Game Solution' proposals?
Unfortunately, the Club's directors already see this as another proposal to further benefit the Premier League and Championship Clubs and are finding it extremely difficult to see any advantages for Clubs in the lower leagues such as Yeovil.
Realistically, it will be financial solutions that will be backed by the Clubs operating in the EFL; this is what happened with the EFL Trophy vote at the Conference in Portugal this summer - the proposals were sold to Clubs on financial rewards and not principles.
However, supporters have since seen the situation differently and are now voting with their feet by boycotting fixtures. This is bad PR for the EFL, for our Clubs and for our sponsors.
Is this what is going to happen with the 'Whole Game Solution' proposals? We have taken that in consideration in our reply to the EFL 'Whole Game Solution' questionnaire, replying to the main proposals as follows:
If additional teams were to be introduced to the EFL, where do you believe the additional teams should come from?
With the board of directors strongly against the feared eventual introduction of Premier League 'B teams' or Academy sides, Yeovil Town FC feels additional teams should therefore come from the National League and the lower leagues.
Where do you believe the additional teams should not come from?
As outlined above, Yeovil Town FC strongly feels any additional Clubs should not be introduced from either Scotland or the Premier League.
Do you think the EFL should consider regionalisation of the bottom two divisions?
After discussion amongst the board of directors, the Club feels regionalisation could be beneficial for both supporters and individual Clubs, in terms of expenditure and the reduction of travelling time to long distance matches, with special focus on mid-week fixtures. With fixtures more likely to be amongst local teams, this would produce bigger gates and receipts.
Would you prefer that Clubs in League One, League Two and League Three (if introduced) played through a winter break?
The Club would support the introduction of a winter break, highlighting the quantity of matches small squads across the lower divisions have to contend with.
What number of teams should compete per division?
Yeovil Town FC would like to see the regionalisation of divisions retaining the current 24 team format.
The Club is continuing to monitor and absorb the views of supporters submitted via the online poll, with the final results on Monday 19th September being taken into consideration when the Club, along with the other members of the EFL, meet at the end of September to continue discussions regarding the 'Whole Game Solution'. We welcome your consultation process and believe that changes, under the right circumstances, are essential for lower league Clubs to not only survive, but to progress.