Club Statement - Whole Game Solution

PLYMOUTH Argyle have been canvassed, along with all the other 71 EFL clubs, for their opinion on proposals set out in the EFL’s Whole Game Solution...

...a discussion document regarding the re-organisation of the current league system and FA Cup.

The club has written to the EFL expressing its opposition to the main proposals namely:- 
• expansion of the EFL to four divisions; 
• reformation of the FA Cup;
• regionalisation of the EFL; and
• a winter fixtures break.

Clubs began the process of discussing a possible overhaul of the English game at this summer’s annual conference, when they were asked to consider a new domestic league system of five divisions of 20 teams from the 2019-20 season, with the EFL becoming a four-division competition below the Premier League.

That would include a new League Three, bringing the number of clubs competing across the professional game to 100, reducing league schedule to 38 games, instead of the current 46. 

The Argyle Board of Directors has responded to the EFL’s request for feedback by making it clear the club can see no advantage in extending the league structure and is completely opposed to the introduction of Premier League B teams into the EFL structure. Neither does it want to see the National League weakened by recruiting teams from their competition to expand the EFL.

It also argues that compensating clubs for the loss of revenue from the reduced number of fixtures will mean relying on an increased subsidy from the Premier League at a time when it believes the EFL should not be actively seeking to increase financial dependency on the Premier League.

The club also recognizes the long and proud tradition of the FA Cup. It sees further changes to its structure as detrimental to the game and is extremely disappointed that a decision has been taken to abandon replays for the quarter-finals from 2017 with apparently little or no consultation.  

The Pilgrims have also urged the EFL to look again at arrangements concerning midweek fixtures to mitigate the travelling for away clubs and supporters. However, despite being affected more than most by long-distance travel, the club does not want to see a return to a polarisation of the EFL between north and south.  
Argyle have also questioned the efficacy of a winter break, citing concerns about coinciding the break with the worst of the English weather and of the effects on cash flow.

Talks about the Whole Game Solution will continue until early next year, when a formal proposal will be collated for further discussion prior to a vote at the 2016-17 EFL summer conference. 

Supporters wishing to raise any points on the Whole Game Solution with the Argyle board will be able to do so at the Fans Forum on Saturday, September 24, which is being held in the Green Taverners’ Suite, starting at 10.30am.