Sky Sports reported yesterday that it could be a dramatic day for the EFL ahead of the League’s board meeting in London, with ownership issues at Blackpool, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City and Bolton Wanderers high on the agenda, not to mention problems at Birmingham City and Notts County.
However, after the meeting, the EFL issued a statement which left supporters very much in the dark as to solutions the EFL was offering to sort out the mess at these clubs and left them wondering what sort of leadership the EFL provided. In short, a dramatic day turned into a damp squib, and Sky Sports prediction was proved to be well off the mark.
On a day when reports emerged that outgoing chief executive Shaun Harvey enjoyed a healthy pay rise last season, up 17.3% from 357k to 418k per annum, the EFL once again proved it was toothless in sorting out issues at its member clubs. Perhaps most importantly of all, They showed a complete lack of empathy with the supporters, who are left bereft and frustrated at the incompetence of an organisation that seems to have no desire to protect its member clubs from ‘rogue owners.’
EFL accounts out today – outgoing chief exec Shaun Harvey enjoyed a healthy pay rise last season up 17.3% from £357k to £418k pic.twitter.com/yU4FZmDjcD
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) March 6, 2019
The statement said nothing of any consequence except confirming they had rejected Charlton owner Rolan Duchatelet ludicrous demand that they take control of the troubled club. There were no solutions offered to the problems at Valley Parade, and a lack of leadership on the issues at Blackpool, Coventry City and Bolton left supporters of four famous old clubs furious at what is in effect an absolution of responsibility.
What is also a concern is that the statement has not been widely reported on in the national media, a failure to call to account this country’s football administrators which is all too common. Contrast this with endless column inches and phone-in debate in the national media prompted by the EFL fining Leeds over spying Derby County’s training sessions, and you get a clear idea of the aims and objectives of the EFL and the mainstream media. In short, the concerns of supporters outside the Premier League and Championship is about as far down the national press and EFL agenda as you can get.
It was left to fans to vent their frustration at the EFL on social media. Here is a selection of their responses.
Shambles of an organisation. Four of 72 clubs at crisis point. Two football clubs carried into administration under his directorship and now this. ??
— Dan. (@BantamDan_) March 6, 2019
We can and will absolve ourselves of any responsibility, but maintain our right to punish you all at a later date!
Right chaps let’s go for a drink, keep your receipts for expenses regards Shaun
— Andrew Walmsley (@acw1966bwfc) March 6, 2019
Your 'corporate speak' is big on words but contains nothing of substance. Yet again you twiddle your thumbs while Rome burns. With every press release you merely confirm what every football fan knows – you are an impotent shambles, unfit for purpose.
— Peter Seddon (@sedds247) March 6, 2019
So basically the EFL do absolutely nothing, what sort of governing body is it?
— John Asplin?? (@lindalejohny) March 6, 2019
Dutchatelet is killing Charlton. Bowyer has done an unbelievable job and hence papered over numerous cracks (to those outside Charlton FC). The long suffering staff, fans and some players know different. He continues to spout deluded nonsense and continues to asset strip.
— Tim Ruffle (@TimRuffle) March 6, 2019
Disgrace of a organisation , you are letting down Cov, Bolton and Blackpool. I would consider your positions instead of giving Harvey a generous pay increase – it’s time for a new body in football
— Scooter Boy – LUFC (@Widderssoul) March 6, 2019
— John Hall (@OneSizeFitz89) March 6, 2019
Supporters of Coventry, Blackpool, Bolton, Charlton and Birmingham City should all go in together and sue the EFL for utter neglect or find something we can do the useless wankers with !! How the fuck can they let this happen !!!!!!!!!!!!!
— GifGoy (@GifGoyBCFC) March 6, 2019
Four non-statements from the EFL effectively washing their hands of problems in four football league clubs. Apart from saying 'non' to Roland Duchatelet, which isn't actually progress of any kind.
— Albion Roar BHAFC (@albionroar) March 6, 2019
A statement on how you are continuing to fail in your duty to four proud clubs. Not to mention the countless clubs that have been let down in the past! Total joke of an institution. #jokers #toothless #fitandpropermyarse
— luke jones (@LA_jones93) March 6, 2019
Consider it a stay of execution? Absolute shambles that so many EFL clubs are in such a state.
— Andrew McVittie (@Andrew_McVittie) March 6, 2019