It is unlikely that current, or former, Huddersfield Town Supporters Association Board members would disagree with Robert Copeland’s statement that, “To get something done a committee should consist of no more than three people, two of whom are absent”.
So when it was revealed that EFL Chief Executive, Shaun Harvey, had held a meeting in February, not with three, but with all 72 EFL clubs it was difficult not to be impressed.
Following the meeting a new agreement was announced.
A “club-developed” player will be one who has been registered to the club for at least a year before the end of his Under 19 season.
EFL teams have previously had to include six “home-grown” players, who have been registered with a club for three seasons, or 36 months, before their 21st birthday.
This number will now be extended to seven and any clubs failing to name a player who meets this criterion will forfeit a substitute for that particular game.
Mr Harvey admitted that he was “confident that this decision will have a positive and lasting impact.”
He went on to add that this would create opportunities for players “to progress from youth to senior football.”
So why are some club executives already suggesting that a knock-on effect could also be the detrimental restriction of loan opportunities for younger players?
On Tuesday of this week the EFL decision-making process rumbled on with League One and League Two clubs met again with Shaun Harvey.
The objective was to discuss proposals and possible changes for the Checkatrade Trophy.
Following this meeting, Mr Harvey said the full and frank exchange of views, “Will now assist the executive in refining a final proposal that our clubs will now vote on.”
The trial met with much opposition and a boycott by some fans.
Furthermore, up to a dozen clubs were fined for fielding under-strength teams whilst others made imaginative use of loop-holes in order to avoid falling foul of the EFL regulations.
A third minute substitution of the Bradford City goalkeeper was one notable example, while the inclusion of manager Gareth Ainsworth on the team sheet enabled Wycombe Wanderers to abide by the regulations even if they might have strayed from the full spirit of the competition.
With the ‘home-developed’ player initiative not due to be in place until 2018/19 at least the clubs have now got a full season in which to devise similar ingenious step-overs and nutmegs with which to circumvent the diktat.
Cynicism may not be an endearing virtue but EFL meetings do bring the words of Dave Barry to mind, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings’.”
With the EFL’s ‘Whole Game Solution’ already in the long-grass perhaps, for once, the Government has the right idea?
Identify the problem first and then find the solution.
The scathing criticism of the FA by the Government’s “Expert working party” and increasing concerns of supporters about the leadership and decision making processes within the EFL does suggest that radical reform is long overdue.
Rachael Gomersall is the HTSA exception that proves the rule when it comes to Committee Members getting things done.
Rachael’s long-standing friend, Frankie Bish, was tragically killed in a recent road traffic accident.
A supporter of Leyton Orient, Frankie had established many great friendships amongst the followers of Huddersfield Town and proudly cherished his title of “Adopted Terrier”. Rachael has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the many Town fans who have donated to the Justgiving appeal.
She has now arranged for a floral tribute to be sent and has been in contact with Frankie’s family with a view to organising a 50th minute applause during the game against Fulham, which Frankie had planned to attend.
HTSA sends most sincere condolences to all Frankie’s family and friends.
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