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13 June 2018 : Oldham Appoint New Management After Wellens Sacking
League Two newcomers Oldham Athletic have appointed a new manager to replace Richie Wellens. Having been relegated from League One at the end of last season, they chose to sack Wellens even though he had only been in charge since September 2017, waiting until June 8th before making their decision to make the change. The Latics have now opted for former striker Frankie Bunn, who has been appointed on a one year deal.

This is the 55 year old's first permanent front line appointment, with his only other experience of first team management being a two game spell as joint Caretaker Manager of Coventry City back in 2008. Otherwise he's been largely employed as a Development Coach at various clubs, with his most recent role at Huddersfield Town ending in December 2017. He's also been on the coaching staff at Wigan Athletic, Coventry City, Manchester City and Rochdale.

Bunn's playing spell with Oldham came between 1987 and 1990. He is a competition record holder, having scored six goals in a single League Cup match against Scarborough Athletic in October 1989 - the most a player has scored in a single match in that competition. Overall he scored 35 goals in 88 appearances at Boundary Park.

Earlier this month, Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam had to douse down reports that Oldham were in financial problems, following claims made by the Daily Mail that the club were the 'next Leyton Orient', sparked by over-inflated wages given to foreign imports inducing dressing room unrest at Boundary Park. The report claimed that Oldham's playing budget had risen from 1.4 million to 2.4 million. Their owner, who is a Dubai-based Moroccan that used to be employed as a Football Agent, has chosen not to deny any of the reports, but states that the 'mess' the club was in at the time of his January 2018 takeover was greater than he anticipated, trying to put some of the problems down to the process of trying to change the way the club was being managed:

"My long-term aim and ambition for the club has not changed. I have never run away from any challenge and will not be doing so at Oldham. I am still fully committed to this great club. It is unfortunate that recent media reports have been made to damage our club. I will not be making any further comments in respect of the media article and will focus our energy on the real and important tasks in hand. We will let our actions speak for themselves. I have invested several millions in the club since my arrival but unfortunately the mess was bigger then we expected. Let me be clear, I am here for the long term. I will continue to invest whenever it is needed but our ultimate goal is to run the club in a responsible and sustainable manner."

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12 June 2018 : Moloney Agrees Cobblers Departure
Former Yeovil Town right-back Brendan Moloney is to become a free agent at the end of his Northampton Town contract. The 29 year old had been offered a new contract at Sixfields at the end of the 2017-18 season, but the implication is that he has turned down that offer, with the Cobblers announcing that he will come off their payroll on June 30th at the end of his current contract.

Moloney made made 108 starts and seven substitute appearances for Northampton, scoring two goals in his three-and-a-half years at the club. He suffered from a number of injuries during that time, largely explaining why his average number of appearances for the Cobblers sat at under 30 each season. However, he was part of their 2015-16 League Two title winning team that has given them the last two years at third tier level.

His rejection of a new deal would imply that he has an offer in League One, or that one of the larger League Two clubs has trumped Northampton's offer. He had been on their books since January 2015, when he was put out on loan by former Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson, half a season into a disappointing spell at Huish Park that reaped just seven first team appearances. His move to Sixfields turned into a permanent deal a month later.

Link: Brendon Moloney : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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11 June 2018 : 2018-19 League Cup First Round Draw Schedule And Ball Numbers
The schedule and ball numbers for the First Round draw of the 2018-19 League Cup have been published by the Football League. The draw will represent the first known competitive fixture for the new season, and as per last year, the League will be getting on a long distance flight. They will be sending Steve McManaman, Louis Saha and Dennis Wise out to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to make the draw on Friday 15th June, with matters commencing at 10.45a.m.

There won't be any video of the draw - all ties will be tweeted via the cup competition's Twitter feed, so you'll just have to imagine that they are actually in Vietnam and not in an office somewhere in the UK. The overseas location is a tie-in with sponsors Carabao, who are based in Thailand. There will be 70 clubs in the draw, with a split between North and South regions. However, on this occasion there will be no seeding, meaning that Yeovil Town - who are Ball No. 34 - can face any of the teams in the Southern Section on a home or away basis.

There are two EFL teams excluded, with Stoke City and Swansea City given a bye, along with all Premier League sides. The draw is as follows:

Northern Section:
1 Accrington Stanley 2 Barnsley 3 Blackburn Rovers 4 Blackpool 5 Bolton Wanderers 6 Bradford City 7 Burton Albion 8 Bury 9 Carlisle United 10 Crewe Alexandra 11 Derby County 12 Doncaster Rovers 13 Fleetwood Town 14 Grimsby Town 15 Hull City 16 Leeds United 17 Lincoln City 18 Macclesfield Town 19 Mansfield Town 20 Middlesbrough 21 Morecambe 22 Nottingham Forest 23 Notts County 24 Oldham Athletic 25 Port Vale 26 Preston North End 27 Rochdale 28 Rotherham United 29 Scunthorpe United 30 Sheffield United 31 Sheffield Wednesday 32 Shrewsbury Town 33 Sunderland 34 Tranmere Rovers 35 Walsall 36 Wigan Athletic

Southern Section:
1 AFC Wimbledon 2 Aston Villa 3 Birmingham City 4 Brentford 5 Bristol City 6 Bristol Rovers 7 Cambridge United 8 Charlton Athletic 9 Cheltenham Town 10 Colchester United 11 Coventry City 12 Crawley Town 13 Exeter City 14 Forest Green Rovers 15 Gillingham 16 Ipswich Town 17 Luton Town 18 Millwall 19 Milton Keynes Dons 20 Newport County 21 Northampton Town 22 Norwich City 23 Oxford United 24 Peterborough United 25 Plymouth Argyle 26 Portsmouth 27 Queens Park Rangers 28 Reading 29 Southend United 30 Stevenage 31 Swindon Town 32 West Bromwich Albion 33 Wycombe Wanderers 34 Yeovil Town.

All matches are scheduled to be played during the week commencing August 13th, with Tuesday 14th August the most likely date for the majority of sides. The competition final will be played on Sunday 24th February 2019. There are a number of changes to this season's competition, as summarised via the link below.

Link: League Cup 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

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10 June 2018 : EFL 2018 AGM Matchday Programmes and Ownership Decisions
Aside from some of the major announcements made by the Football League in the last few days, on the back of their 2018 Summer AGM, there have been some more subtle changes agreed in Portugal. The EFL reveal that there were 17 regulation amendments or additions on the table, along with one constitutional change that was not asked for a formal vote. The more minor changes were as follows:

Matchday Programmes: The AGM agreed that the production of physical matchday programmes would be optional for clubs for the 2018-19 season onwards. It will therefore become a commercial decision for each individual club, as to whether they believe it is profitable, or serves a purpose as a communication device. However, it also enables clubs to offer publications wholly on a digital basis, using an electronic application. The League's change allows clubs to opt out, but in terms of partnership and sponsorship agreements, clubs would still be expected to honour advertising commitments.

Groundsharing: From May 5th 2019 onward, applications for Groundsharing must be limited to football, plus one other sport. Clubs that groundshare with another sport must have a hybrid or similar pitch installed. For any club with an existing groundshare agreement, this rule will apply from July 1st 2019. Although they are not named, this would appear to be aimed at Newport County, who experienced groundshare problems up until the 2017-18 season, where attempts to groundshare with Newport Gwent Dragons (now known simply as Dragons) and Newport RFC on a wholly grass surface led to waterlogged pitches and postponed matches.

Safeguarding Standards: The EFL Board will have the power to implement operational standards relating to the safeguarding of young persons and vulnerable adults, as appropriate. Nothing is said beyond that, but it presumably takes the issue out of clubs hands and allows the League to define a rule across all 72 clubs.

Owners Conduct Review: The League have been looking into what additional standards they can adopt to deal with problematic owners, with them admitting that the current rules only allowed them to vet owners and directors at the time they took over the football club. This meant that any problems experienced during their ownership could not be dealt with. As a result they will tackle this from three angles - firstly a Club Charter will be published, detailing the commitment that all Club Officials must make towards the EFL and other associated bodies.

Secondly, the League will extend the ability to sanction clubs (usually in the form of a transfer embargo) where clubs fail to pay loan wages, ticket revenue owed to other clubs, or staff wages. The current rule only relates to transfer fee and loan fee payments and so is being expanded to include a wider set of scenarios. This appears to be a reaction to the problems that materialised at Leyton Orient just over a year ago, as they were relegated to the National League, with office staff frequently going unpaid, but with the League admitting they could not intervene.

Thirdly, the Owners and Directors Test will be amended to prevent a registered Intermediary (i.e. a Football Agent) from also engaging in activities that fall under the definition of a Director within League regulations. This appears to be a reactive change, in response to controversy concerning agent Jorge Mendes and his role at Wolves. An EFL investigation in April concluded neither club nor agent had broken any rules in terms of the number of players Mendes had registered at Molineux, but the change to the rules appear to be an attempt to stop anything that they may have felt morally stepped over the mark.

Action Against Individuals: Strongly related to the above, the EFL Board are to define a policy where individuals fail to meet the standards required under the League regulations. This policy will include action that the League can take in the event of 'a very serious single act or persistent serious acts' relating to their operation of a League club, and where their conduct is damaging to the reputation of the profession and the game of football. The EFL Board have a target of adopting this policy at their next meeting on July 26th.

Financial Controls in League One and League Two: There will be discussions with third and fourth tier clubs over changes that could be made to the existing SCMP Rules, which cover the amount that clubs are allowed to spend on players wages. These discussions will continue at the next September 2018 club meeting. Here, Yeovil Town may hold an opinion on this, given that Chairman John Fry has recently expressed concerns that the club cannot carry forward any of the 'windfall' the club received from their 2017-18 cup runs into the 2018-19 season under the present rules.

There are two topics of conversation that the Football League do not divulge the outcome of. As part of their February 2018 club meeting, the EFL stated on the subject of artificial pitches that "discussions will now continue ahead of the EFL's AGM in June to determine if there is an appetite for either league wide change or if there is an option to adopt the use of artificial pitches on a divisional basis". In addition, in late May, Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry stated that he was in discussion with the EFL over introducing a "fibre pitch" at Huish Park. However, there was nothing that came out of the Summer AGM - the only possible explanation comes from National League clubs who believe that the item was about to be dropped from the agenda due to insufficient support, with opposition from the PFA particularly strong in this area, with 94 percent of their members against such a rule change. However, given the EFL stated it would be on the June 2018 agenda, it is surprising that they have not made the current position clear.

The second area that has not been mentioned is the introduction of the "developed player" rule for the 2018-19 Season. This came up back in April 2017, and was part of two changes planned to further the development of Academy players, and their pathway into the first team. This did not get a mention in any of the League or media output from the AGM. However, only last month, EFL Head Of Youth Development David Wetherall spoke about it, saying that he saw it as guaranteeing a pathway from the Academy to the First Team in all 72 clubs:

"EFL clubs invest very significant amounts of money, above 90 million, on youth development each season. It makes it clear to everyone in the system that there is that pathway because somebody from each academy will be within that first-team environment. Everything in youth development is a long-term project. The work that is under way takes a long time to come to fruition at first team and international level. The Elite Player Performance Plan came into effect in 2012. The licenced academy system started at under-nines. So the players who will undertake their whole journey under the new academy system are still a long way away from first teams. But I think we're making some really good progress in the country in terms of the quality opf players that are being produced."

Back in September 2017, Chief Executive Shaun Harvey stated that the rule change would still be going ahead and that regulations would be amended to provide this:

"From 2018-19, clubs will have a requirement to field Club Developed Players on their team sheets, and we believe amendments to regulations in this way can be a game changer and have a major impact in an increasingly important area."

Hence the most likely situation is that clubs already regarded the issue as voted through from the April 2017 meeting, and were therefore happy for the League's Executive to define that regulation for the 2018-19 Season without a further vote.

Link: League Propose New Financial Model For Distributing Funds To Clubs.

Link: EFL Trophy 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

Link: League Cup 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes.

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9 June 2018 : Quartet Of Glovers Triumph In Seniors World Cup
A quartet of players associated with Yeovil Town are World Cup winners, after England Veterans triumphed in the 2018 Seniors World Cup in Thailand today. The Three Lions team beat Scotland 4-0 in the final played at the Hua Hin Stadium, at the end of a competition in which they won all of their fixtures in normal time, to take the trophy for the third consecutive occasion.

Yeovil Town goalkeeping coach Steve Phillips has been a part of all three of those tournaments, and he started in the final, along with former winger Lee Elam, who played on the right flank, with Alex Russell taking on a central midfield role. Former Yeovil Town manager and midfielder Steve Thompson was on the bench for the final, but was pushed into the action after just 40 minutes, when he had to replace Captain Peter Beagrie.

England opened the scoring through Mark Saunders 27 minutes into the tie, and at one point it looked as though Scotland were going to make a game of it. However, three goals in five minutes killed off the match around the hour mark. Lee Elam set up the second, thanks to a right-wing run that took the ball to the byline before cutting the ball back to Jason Price to score. Elam then smashed in England's third, before Steve Jones broke through the middle of the Scottish defence for the fourth of the game.

England Seniors - winners of the 2018 Seniors World Cup
Top Left to Right: Johnny Wilson (Head of Sports Science and Medicine), Paulina Czubacka (Lead Clinician), Rod Thornley, Dave Galloway, Lee Elam, Karl Munroe, Steve Phillips, Jason Price, Steve Dickinson, Mark Saunders, Nicky Southall, Steve Thompson, Jonny Haigh, Ian Nockolds (Media), Mark Clifton (Assistant).
Bottom Left to Right: Dean Barrick, Kevin Mooney, Wesley Reid, Alex Russell, Tristram Whitman, Andy Newell (Assistant), Paul Bell (Manager), Mark Smitheringale (Coach), Peter Beagrie, Barry Hayles, Steve Jones, Steve King, Andy Hessenthaler.
Photo © 2018 England Seniors.

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9 June 2018 : RIP Chris Weller 1939-2018
Former Yeovil Town forward Chris Weller has passed away at the age of 78 years old. Chris spent most of his life living in Dorset - as well as his prolific spell with the Glovers, he played professionally for Reading, AFC Bournemouth and Bristol Rovers as well as managing a number of Dorset and Hampshire sides. He died on June 4th, after suffering with dementia.

Chris was born in Reading on December 25th 1939 and represented his county at cricket as a teenager. But he became a professional footballer for Reading, and at the time he made his debut for his hometown club he was their youngest player to represent their first team, aged just 17 years old. He transferred to Bournemouth in the summer of 1959, in what was to be the first of two spells for the Cherries, broken up by a six month spell with Bristol Rovers during the 1965-66 season. Overall he made 119 league appearances for Bournemouth, scoring 26 goals, with three more league appearances for Rovers.

In the summer of 1967, Yeovil Town manager Ron Saunders was building a new squad, and he brought in Weller, for the start of that season. He was the club's top goalscorer during the 1967-68 campaign and managed to hit double figures in all six of the years that he was with the club. He was part of Yeovil Town's first team during the 1970-71 season when the club won the Southern League title and the Western Counties Floodlight Cup, as well as reaching the FA Cup Third Round and a money-spinning home tie against Arsenal at Huish, and an FA Trophy Semi-Final.

Across his six seasons with the club, Chris scored 104 goals, putting him in an elite group of just six players who have broken through the century barrier for the club since the end of the Second World War. At the end of the 1972-73 season, he was one of four long-serving players that were given joint testimonial matches against Fulham, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ipswich Town and Hereford United, with the proceeds being shared by the quartet as an aggregate of 19,296 turned out to watch the four matches. Overall, he made 218 appearances for the club, meaning that he left with a strike rate of almost one goal in every two games.

He went on to play for Salisbury, Poole Town and Ringwood Town, at which point he moved into management as Holt United's player-manager. When he hung up his boots entirely, he managed Shaftesbury, Wimborne Town, Brockenhurst and Bournemouth Poppies. Off the field, he worked as a self-employed plumber and heating engineer. He also managed Grange Athletic Under 16s and Parley and Brockenhurst Under 18s.

He married just before his move to Huish, having met his wife Dorli whilst playing for Bournemouth. She had arrived in England as a hairdresser from Austria and they married in her home country in 1966. He moved to Verwood at that time, where his daughter Britta and son Kristian were born and raised.

Chris Weller's funeral will take pace at 12.30p.m. on Friday 29th June, at Wimborne Woodland Burial Ground. Family flowers only. Instead, donations can be made to Dementia UK.

Chris Weller and his wife Dorli outside their bungalow in Verwood
Chris Weller and his wife Dorli outside their bungalow in Verwood

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8 June 2018 : League Cup 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes
The Football League have confirmed that there will be no extra time in next season's League Cup competition. With the exception of the Wembley final, all fixtures will be settled by just 90 minutes worth of football, with games going directly to penalties if the match is drawn - the same rules that the sister Football League Trophy uses.

The Wembley Final will still use extra time if needed. At the 2018 EFL AGM, member clubs were presented with statistics detailing that 85 percent of matches across the last three years were settled in normal time, and so did not even reach the extra time period. The end result was that clubs voted in favour of the rule change.

Another change voted in is that seeding will be scrapped from the 2018-19 Season competition. Previously in the First and Second Round, clubs in the Championship and top half of League One would be drawn against clubs in the lower half of League One, or those in League Two. The 2018-19 Season League Cup draw will now be unseeded, with only the North and South regionalisation maintained. The removal of this rule should allow for a bit of randomisation, with lower division clubs getting a better chance of progressing through to later rounds, although it does lower the chances of them getting a high profile draw in the earlier stages.

The League have also revealed that the penalty kicks for the League Cup will revert to the standard ABAB format. The one-season trial of the ABBA format has been dropped, meaning that penalties will be taken alternatively by each team. This method will also be used by the Football League Trophy and the Play-Off competitions.

Finally, the League have agreed to allow the use of VAR in the League Cup competition, where the match is played at a stadium supporting that technology, which currently will cover the Premier League clubs and Wembley Stadium.

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8 June 2018 : EFL Trophy 2018-19 Competition Rule Changes
The Football League has made a couple of small changes to the rules for the Football League Trophy for the 2018-19 season. Whilst the main format of the competition, which is currently badged as the Checkatrade Trophy, will remain unchanged, there will be some modifications on team selection again.

For Football League sides, they will be able to include players on their teamsheet that are in the middle of loan agreements with National League clubs. This would not result in the terms of the loan being broken or ended - that player would be able to return to the National League side after the Trophy tie has been played. This is similar to a rule that is currently in place for players loaned to Football League clubs, who are allowed to play at Under-23 level as part of the Premier League 2 league competition.

In addition, there is a larger change to the rules that will affect EPPP Category One clubs that field Under-21 sides in the competition. The current rules are that each Under-21 side must field at least six starting players that are aged Under-21 on June 30th in the year that the competition commenced. On top of that, they will only be able to name two players who are over the age of 21 and have made more than 40 First Team appearances.

The League have also said that their Executive Committee will be preparing changes to the competition for the 2019-20 season. The present format has an agreement to continue until the end of the 2018-19 season. The League plan to present to clubs any changes to that format at a meeting in September. One of the open-ended questions will be whether Under-21 sides will be allowed to continue in that competition, with sponsors Checkatrade having provided the competition with a large sponsorship and prize pool, but at the expense of substantially lower gates, particularly during the Group Stages of the competition.

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8 June 2018 : Calls For Safe Standing Gain Major Political Backing
Football's Safe Standing campaign has today been given formal backing by a political party this morning. The Labour Party have announced that changes to the 1989 Football Spectators' Act would form part of official party policy if it was put to a vote in Parliament. The confirmation from Shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, ensures that the Football Supporters Federation and the Football League now guarantee that their hopes to legalise the concept of Rail Seating in Premier League and Championship grounds have backing from politicians.

Support for Safe Standing was also a part of the 2015 and 2017 Liberal Democrats Election Manifesto, and so although they have been quiet on the recent campaigning, it would seem likely that they would also support any moves to change the law that was set up in the wake of the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster. Launching their plans at a meeting at Queens Park Rangers' Loftus Road ground, Dr Allin-Khan said that she had been consulting with a number of fans groups and safety authorities, and their view was that the choice of what facilities to offer should lie with the local safety authorities and clubs, rather than Whitehall officials:

"It's time for change. Labour's decision is the result of in-depth consultation with football clubs, fans and safety authorities. It's time to back safe-standing. We want to give the power to fans, clubs and local safety authorities, to allow for a small area inside a stadium to be designated for safe-standing. Clubs, fans and local authorities know their stadium far better than anybody in Whitehall - the decision should rest with them."

The current Government position is for them to resist change in the current laws, with Sports Minister Tracey Crouch dismissing campaigners as a 'vocal minority'. But with the EFL and the FSF formally giving their support to the campaign, along with a number of high profile professional clubs, and a petition attracting over 110,000 signatures, it has been somewhat harder to maintain that stance, and earlier this week, there were signs that the Government were softening their opposition a little. However, Dr Allin-Khan believes that the Government have been slow to move with the times over the issue:

"This is about safety. The current system isn't working, people are standing in unsafe seated areas, and accidents can happen. We would allow the installation of specialised rail seating where appropriate, or standing in current seated areas where it can be made safe to do so. The data and extent of the surveys provided by the EFL and fans' groups clearly shows that fans want safe-standing introduced. Government ministers have dragged their feet. They have not met safety authorities in the past two months, they haven't spoken to any supporters groups, and launched a review overnight without giving it any thought."

The current laws, and the issue of Safe Standing and the introduction of Rail Seats, will be discussed in Parliament on June 25th, as a result of the petition exceeding 100,000 signatures.

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8 June 2018 : Extra Time Could Be Scrapped In League Cup
This weekend's Football League AGM is expected to discuss proposals to scrap extra time during the 2018-19 League Cup competition. The current format is for matches to be settled on the night, but for games to be played using an additional 30 minutes extra time, followed by penalty kicks if the scores are still level after 90 minutes.

The League's proposal stems from complaints from players that they are suffering from 'fatigue' from having to play the full 120 minutes. On the table is therefore a vote to consider bringing it into line with the Football League Trophy, which sees teams go straight to penalty kicks if the scores are level on 90 minutes. This is with the exception of the Final, where extra time is allowed.

On a related note, the League will also vote on what to do with the penalty kicks system. Last season, the League introduced a new ABBA system, which saw teams take penalty kicks in pairs, in a similar pattern to a tennis tie break. This replaced the long-established ABAB system which saw penalty kicks alternate on a one-by-one basis. The ABBA system had been introduced on a one season trial, and so League clubs will now vote on what steps to take next, which could include adopting the ABBA format on a permanent basis or reverting to the original ABAB format.

The other items that are expected to be discussed include a vote on whether the production of physical matchday programmes should be mandatory for clubs. Back in April 2018, the League said they'd been approached by several clubs asking for programme production to be optional and therefore a commercial decision by individual clubs. As yet, we've not seen any clubs state that they would withdraw programme production in the event of a rule change. The League have said that they would continue to produce programmes for their Cup Finals and Play-Off Finals.

There is also expected to be the formal introduction of a 'developed player' rule for the 2018-19 season. This was originally discussed by clubs in April 2017 and will require clubs to name at least one player on their teamsheet that has been developed by their own Academy/Youth system, with that player needing to have been on the club's books for at least one season leading up to Under-19 level. This is a rule that would significantly affect Yeovil Town, given that clubs that cannot name such a player are expected to be rationed to only six substitutes. At present, having released all second year scholars there are no players that would qualify under that definition.

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7 June 2018 : League Propose New Financial Model For Distributing Funds To Clubs
The Football League have announced plans to review their current financial distribution model for the 2019-20 season. The proposals were put forward at the League's 2018 Summer AGM and concerns the way that income from deals like Sky Sports broadcast contracts and commercial sponsorship trickles down to member clubs. The formula used is a complex one, but has historically meant that Championship clubs have taken the lion's share of that pot.

That isn't likely to change soon, but the League have provided clubs with a couple of offers that may or may not provide a bit more certainty for League One and League Two clubs in terms of what they receive. The offer involves the Football League taking on the central costs of providing the facilities for Goal Line Technology in Championship fixtures, and Select Group 2 Match Officials, that are full time professionals in second tier football. Currently the costs of both are met by Championship clubs on their own, with League One and League Two sides not liable for that expense.

Based on the League's current constitution, the formula for the distribution of funds to each level of football is expected to be 71.15% in the Championship, 17.16% in League One and 11.69% in League Two for the 2019-20 Season.

The League have put forward two proposals. The first is to reset the splits back to the 2016-17 season, which saw financial awards of 68.51% in the Championship, 18.7% League One and 12.79% in League Two. The second is to move to a new split of 66.66% in the Championship, 20% in League One and 13.34% in League Two. However, whilst this may seem more generous to third and fourth tier clubs at first sight, clubs will be able to keep 80 percent of its own income from the domestic streaming of matches, whilst the costs of goal line technology and professional officials would be met by the league, thus meaning all 72 clubs would share the expense.

At present there is no formal vote. It will be discussed again in September 2018, with a formal vote expected by the end of the year. As the change is constitutional, it would require at least 75 percent of the membership to support one of the new measures. Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said of the proposals:

"Today was about setting the scene and providing clubs with the relevant information so that the discussion can develop over the course of the coming weeks and months. I would hope there is enough initial detail within the draft proposals for clubs to be able to start having the necessary conversations with their Boards and colleagues so we can start to understand if making a change is going to be possible."

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6 June 2018 : Tisdale Confirmed As Milton Keynes Boss
In news that will shock no-one, Milton Keynes Dons have announced their new first team manager as Paul Tisdale. The former Yeovil Town midfielder's name has been linked with the vacancy at Stadium MK since the final week of the season proper, meaning that Exeter City went through their 2017-18 Season Play-Offs with heavy speculation hanging over their manager's head. That has proven to be true, with Tisdale's departure from St James Park last Friday making it fairly obvious what would happen next.

That has now been confirmed, and so the 45 year old will remain in League Two, but with the possible gamble that he is now at a club that will be attempting a quick return to third tier football following their relegation last season. Chairman Pete Winkelman ha said that Tisdale has been his number one target throughout their search for a new manager:

"Paul was our number one choice from the very start and although it has taken some time to become real, it is certainly worth the wait. Paul ticks every box for us and I am very much looking forward to working with him and his team, as we all look to bring back exciting times to Milton Keynes."

His exact terms haven't been divulged, but has been described in the media as a 'long term rolling contract'. He will be joined by two of his backroom staff from St James Park, with assistant manager Matt Oakley and first team coach Mel Gwinnett also making the trip up to Buckinghamshire.

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5 June 2018 : Carlisle Appoint New First Team Manager
League Two side Carlisle United have appointed a successor to Keith Curle, who left the club at the end of the 2017-18 season. They have opted for John Sheridan, who has managed a myriad of Football League sides, but was most recently in charge of League One side Fleetwood Town, meaning that he's not got too far to travel for his next position. His major management career highlights have taken in three spells with Oldham Athletic, plus one each with Chesterfield and Plymouth Argyle.

It's that trio of clubs that brought most of his management success. he took Oldham to the League One play-offs in 2006-07, then gave Chesterfield promotion from League Two in 2010-11. Sheridan then took Plymouth to the League Two play-offs in 2014-15, managing them through a difficult period just after the Devon side had come out of administration and gradually turning them into a promotion-challenging club.

His last few appointments haven't been quite so fruitful, and have all been rather brief. Since October 2015, he's taken in Newport County, Oldham (again), Notts County, Oldham (for a third time), then Fleetwood Town with the longest that he's managed in any of those five spells being 33 games. That said, his 13 game spell with Fleetwood at the end of last season was impressive enough to steer them away from the relegation area and up into lower midtable.

There is no mention of Sheridan's contract length at Brunton Park. However, Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens claimed that their decision to appoint Sheridan came from an extensive process of selection:

"John has a record of success, and he is respected by managers, players and fans in equal measure. He is known for getting the absolute best out of players, and has a commitment to bringing young players through. I know that he will bring his characteristic determination, motivation and ambition to the club. Time and time, he has shown that he has been able to deliver results in the face of stiff competition. This appointment has been the result of a thorough and extensive process. The process has been comprehensive, and we have no doubt that John Sheridan is absolutely the right man for the job."

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5 June 2018 : Government Re-Open A Closed Door On All-Seater Policy
What a difference a few weeks can make. Back in April 2018, West Bromwich Albion had an application to the Government to introduce safe standing at the Hawthorns rejected. At the time of the rejection, Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch appeared to be digging her heels in on the issue, describing football fans who wanted the ability to licence rail seats, and thus a return to a structured form of terracing, as a "vocal minority" with a statement saying: "We have no plans to change our position and introduce standing accommodation at grounds in the top two divisions covered by the all-seater policy."

During the time that has followed, the Football Supporters Federation has joined ranks with the Football League, who formally announced their support for such a venture, launching a survey that showed that 94 percent of fans were in favour of a change in the law. At the same time, a petition launched by an Ipswich Town supporter gathered over 110,000 signatures, triggering a debate in Parliament over the issue that is set to take place on June 25th.

Late on Monday night, BBC Sport picked up that Government officials had approached both the Premier League and Football League about conducting a review into the current regulation, declaring the "time is right" to look at the issue. Currently outlawed by the 1989 Football Spectators' Act, it is unusually not an issue for individual leagues or local authorities, but one where Sunderland are barred from opening any terracing at their ground, even though their position in League One means they will come up against many opponents who are allowed to open terraced sections and even build new ones, whilst Shrewsbury Town have become the first English professional club to open up a new section of their ground based around rail seats.

The Government's latest position is that having blocked attempts to debate the issue in April, they are now willing to discuss the matter in June. A Government source has told the BBC the door is not closed on the matter:

"We recognise that technology and stadium design has evolved since the all-seater policy was introduced and the time is right to look at the issue. The sports minister has not shut the door to fans keen on standing sections being introduced but it is important that all the evidence and viewpoints are considered extremely carefully."

Whilst Yeovil Town remain in League Two or League One, they would be unaffected by the current, or any future position. However, having held a position in the Championship for one season, they would be expected to turn both terraces into all-seater structures if they complete two more seasons at that level, with a financial commitment and business plan published by the end of the second year.

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4 June 2018 : Former Keeper Behcet Returns To Somerset
Former Yeovil Town goalkeeper Darren Behcet is back in the West Country after agreeing to sign for Southern League Premier Division South side Frome Town. The 31 year old has been largely playing for sides in the South East over the past few years, but has relocated this year, and so has decided to join a Somerset club for the 2018-19 season.

Behcet was brought into Huish Park by Steve Thompson during the later part of the 2005-06 Season as a former West Ham United Academy player, eventually being signed on a permanent basis by Russell Slade. The form of Steve Mildenhall meant that Behcet's time with the club was confined to benchwarming, with a loan spell at Dorchester Town representing his only first team competitive playing time during his two years at Huish Park.

As a result, it was no surprise when in the summer of 2008, he moved on, and joined Sutton United. Since then he's worked his way through a myriad of Home Counties clubs, with Tooting and Mitcham, Harlow Town, Carshalton Athletic, AFC Hornchurch, Bognor Regis, Cray Wanderers, Maldon and Tiptree, Thurrock Ware, Heybridge Swifts and Coggeshall Town all using him over the past decade.

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3 June 2018 : Mugabi On Bench As Uganda Beaten Again
Yeovil Town defender Bevis Mugabi was part of a Uganda Cranes squad that lost 2-1 against hosts Niger on Saturday evening. The second of their June friendly internationals came at the Stade General Seyni Kountche in Niamey, as part of a mini-tournament that included the Central African Republic, who Uganda had lost 1-0 against earlier in the week.

Both Niger goals were scored by 21 year old Victorien Adebayor, whilst right back Nicholas Wadada netted a consolation for Uganda towards the end. For the second game running, Mugabi was named on the bench. Whilst we're certain that he didn't enter the field of play in his previous match, details on the substitutions for this fixture are sketchy, with FUFA and the Ugandan national press only recording the teamsheet, rather than any in-game changes. If we can confirm the substitutions, we'll add them in later.

The Ugandan squad will spend Sunday in Niger and are due to fly home on Monday, at which point Bevis should commence his summer break.

Uganda Cranes:
Dennis Onyango (GK), Nico Wakiro Wadada, Joseph Benson Ochaya, Timothy Denis Awanyi, Murushid Jjuuko, Khalid Aucho, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Moses Opondo, Allan Kateregga, Edrisa Lubega Emmanuel Okwi.

Charles Lukwago (GK), Salim Jamal, Denis Iguma, Isaac Muleme, Bevis Mugabi, Tadeo Lwanga, Allan Kyambadde, William Kizito Luwagga, Milton Karisa, Muhammed Shaban, Yunus Sentamu, Farouk Miya

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2 June 2018 : Quartet Of Glovers In England Seniors Squad
The England Seniors successfully landed in Bangkok yesterday, with four current or former Yeovil Town players and coaches numbered in their ranks. The squad are currently undertaking a training camp, prior to the tournament itself, which takes place later this month. Pictured inside that squad are former Yeovil Town manager and midfielder Steve Thompson along with current goalkeeping coach Steve Phillips.

The squad also features two other former Yeovil Town players. Winger Lee Elam featured for the club during its first season in the Football League. At the age of 41 years old, he finished his playing days at Harrogate Town; the same town that provide the main organisation and set-up for the England Seniors team. He is now managing Eccleshill United's Under-21 side. In addition, the squad includes midfielder Alex Russell, who played for the club under Terry Skiverton during the second half of the 2010-11 season.

The Seniors squad took part in a warm-up match against a Thailand B team in Bangkok today. During the first half, goals from Peter Beagrie, Barry Hayles and Mark Saunders put them 3-0 up in heavy rain, before a much-changed second half side added a fourth goal, with Alex Russell scoring. England are the current holders of the tournament, and so will be one of the fancied sides once the competition starts later in June.

England Seniors in Thailand for the 2018 Seniors World Cup
England Seniors in Thailand for the 2018 Seniors World Cup
Photo © 2018 England Seniors

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2 June 2018 : Ralph Makes Scottish Premiership Move After Leaving Cardinals
Former Yeovil Town left-back Nathan Ralph has moved north of the border to sign for Scottish Premiership side Dundee. The 25 year old was out of contract at National League side Woking, which led to The Sun claiming that Charlton Athletic, Oxford United and Hearts were after him, whilst a writer for HITC claimed he was heading for a trial for Bolton Wanderers. The only media that got it right were the Dundee Evening Telegraph who correctly predicted back in January that he was off to the Kilmac Stadium, signing up as a free agent.

Ralph has signed a two year contract with his new club, having had two successful seasons with Woking that had seen him make 72 appearances - by far the most consistent part of his footballing career so far. He was persuaded to make the move by former Crawley Town and Stevenage midfielder Roarie Deacon and although he admits that the level that he will be playing at will be much higher than what he has been used to in the last couple of years, he hopes he can establish himself at that level:

"I spoke to a few people as well, the likes of Roarie Deacon who said its a good place to come, play good football and the manager will improve me. That's pretty much everything I was looking for. I know the level is better than what I have been playing at recently so I'm looking to test myself as much as possible. I feel like I'm good enough to play at this level. I'm excited, looking forward to it."

The former Peterborough United trainee was recruited by former Glovers boss Gary Johnson in the summer of 2012, but found his three years with Yeovil Town dogged by injuries, which persisted through his year with Newport County during the 2015-16 season. It only seems to be since his move to Kingfield that his career has taken off, leading to a number of clubs being linked with him, particularly during last season.

Link: Nathan Ralph : Yeovil Town Statistics.

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2 June 2018 : Campbell Confirms Forest Green Deal
Former Yeovil Town loanee Tahvon Campbell has not wasted any time in getting himself a new club. The 21 year old has penned terms with League Two side Forest Green Rovers, less than a day after he was released by West Bromwich Albion. The striker has signed a one year contract at the New Lawn, having had a 14 game loan spell there during the second half of the 2017-18 season.

Rovers manager Mark Cooper suggested that Campbell's move was probably his last chance to prove himself in the professional game, having had two loan spells with Yeovil Town, along with others at Kidderminster Harriers, Notts County and Solihull Moors, none of which had shown a particular spark. However, Cooper believes the player does have something about him that could allow him to succeed:

"Tahv showed us on numerous occasions during his loan spell with us that he was a real handful and he had something about him. Weve given him a deal where he has got to really prove himself. It's probably a last-chance saloon for Tahv. He has had three or four loans that haven't worked out, he's come to us, felt at home and we've given him an opportunity to kick on."

Campbell himself prefers not to see it as a last chance for him to establish himself as a first team professional, but added that having already experienced the set-up at Forest Green that he saw it as an easy decision:

"Having been here before it was quite an easy decision, knowing the whole background of the club as well as the staff and players. I really enjoyed my loan spell at the club and staying in the league was a great feeling and hopefully next season we can push for bigger things. I wouldn't say it is my last chance but I feel the club have given me the opportunity to show what I can do and I am thankful for that. I just want to get a whole season under my belt and try and score as many goals as I can."

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1 June 2018 : Grecians Promote Taylor As Tisdale Successor
In what we'd assumed was a cued-up bit of decision-making, League Two side Exeter City have appointed a successor to outgoing manager Paul Tisdale. The former Yeovil Town midfielder left St James Park this morning after 12 years at the helm, with Milton Keynes Dons widely assumed to be his destination. In his place, they have appointed 36 year old Matt Taylor, who has been their Under-23 manager since hanging up his boots.

Taylor is a former defender who had a long career with non-league Burscough and various other clubs before he met up with Tisdale at Team Bath during the 2006-07 season. He moved to Exeter in June 2007 where he spent four seasons, before heading off to a variety of Football League sides, including Charlton Athletic and Cheltenham Town. In 2016 he became a Player-Coach at Bath City before rejoining Exeter.

As such, he is an obvious heir to Tisdale's methods and ways and so gives the Grecians some continuity. However, this will be his first front line job since turning to coaching. As yet, Exeter have not revealed anything about his appointment, stating that interviews will be arranged next Monday. One of his first tasks will be to agree Exeter's Released and Retained List following their League Two Play-Off Final defeat against Coventry City.

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1 June 2018 : Chairman Fry Plans Under-21 Set-Up For 2019-20 Season
Yeovil Town Chairman John Fry has given his views on how the club's Academy system stands, at the end of a season that saw no professional contracts offered to the club's Academy players for the third summer running. All seven of the club's second year scholars were released at the end of their Scholarship Programme at the club, with full-back Joe Tomlinson later being given a one year contract by Premier League side Brighton and Hove Albion as a route into their Under-23s side.

Fry had talked about creating an Under-23s side back in January 2018, to provide a more coherent link between the club's Academy system and their First Team system, although since then nothing substantial has materialised. He has now told the club's website that they are proposing the creation of an Under-21s team for the 2019-20 season. He also now confirms widespread reports that Premier League side Southampton have been providing some sort of inputs into the running of the club's Academy system:

"We have recently undergone a full EFL Audit of our Academy standards and on limited resources, we have performed well thanks in no small part to very strong support from Southampton FC and Yeovil College. Having said that we are not complacent as we want to see graduates from our own Academy transition and be able to play EFL standard football. With that in mind we will be amending our Academy operations for next season and are also looking to set up an under-21 team for 2019-20. Setting up these improvements is a very detailed process and has included our own in-house review of our Academy's football, education and safeguarding practices to ensure we continue to apply the very best standards going forward. We expect to be able to announce the results of our reviews shortly."

Whilst the Glovers obtained fees for last season's transfer of Callum Morton to West Bromwich Albion and Kingsley Latham to Southampton, from the Academy, their decision to release Tomlinson from his Scholarship without offering him a contract meant that his move to Brighton will come on a free transfer. Fry states that the club helped Tomlinson set up trials with Southampton and Brighton, but denies rumours that there was any sort of offer from the Seagulls in place at the time that he left the club:

"After a discussion between the first team and Academy Managers it was agreed that none of the scholars could immediately transition to the EFL squad this season. Without an under-21 team this would normally leave a talented scholar like Joe (Tomlinson) with few options, but via our exit programme and contacts Joe was given the opportunity of trials at Southampton and Brighton by our Football and Academy Management teams. I am aware that there have been social media comments suggesting Joe had been subject to a six-figure offer from another club before he left us, but that is simply incorrect. No offers were received and if we had selfishly held on to Joe's registration waiting for an offer, this clearly talented player could have seen his football career options limited. It underlines our commitment to our youth players that if they cannot immediately be part of our senior squad, we will find ways to help them progress."

As with all players aged Under-24, the club would have been entitled to a fee from an interested club, but only provided they offered Tomlinson a professional contract at the end of his Scholarship. Upon releasing him, Brighton were entitled to make their move, as a free transfer, at the end of his contract with Yeovil Town on June 30th.

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1 June 2018 : Macclesfield Lose Manager After Promotion Back Into The League
League Two newcomers Macclesfield Town have been delivered a blow by the news that they have lost their first team manager John Askey to League One side Shrewsbury Town. The 53 year old had been their boss since April 2013, and had an association with the Cheshire club going back to 1984, when he joined them as a 20 year old striker, whilst the club were in the Northern Premier League.

Askey had been a player during Macclesfield's previous two Conference League titles (now known as the National League) and was their manager when they won the title for a third time, finishing above Tranmere Rovers by a ten point margin. However, he'll not manage them in the Football League, having penned a three year contract at the New Meadow.

This is the second time Shrewsbury have raided the National League Champions for a first team manager, with Ashey's predecessor Paul Hurst being recruited from Grimsby Town shortly after their promotion to the Football League. Hurst has been appointed as Ipswich Town's manager this week, kicking off a chain reaction down the divisions.

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1 June 2018 : Tisdale's Departure Confirmed By Grecians
League Two side Exeter City have parted company with first team manager Paul Tisdale. The 45 year old former Yeovil Town midfielder had been in charge at St James Park for 12 years, but is now widely expected to take up the vacancy at Milton Keynes Dons, who have just been relegated into League Two. The Grecians were beaten Play-Off Finalists this year, with Coventry City getting promotion to League One last weekend, but strictly speaking the issues behind Tisdale's departure lie before that point.

Tisdale had been operating on a rolling two year contract at Exeter, but was given notice on that deal in November 2016 following a poor start to the 2016-17 season. Ironically that has since resulted in Exeter reaching two consecutive League Two Play-Off Finals, which resulted in the Grecians Board offering him a replacement contract. With them needing to make plans for the 2018-19 season, they had set a deadline for Tisdale to sign the new deal. That deadline has now passed, and so Chairman Julian Tagg has announced that they will be looking elsewhere for a new boss:

"Regretfully, Paul has decided not to sign. We wish him the best of luck for the future and would like to thank him for his commitment to our club over the last 12 years. He has been a dedicated and successful manager, well respected both inside the Club and equally so in football generally and ever popular with players staff and volunteers, having worked so extremely hard to bring Exeter City to where we are today. Our offer of a new contract to Paul came with our express desire that he sign it in order to allow the club to plan and go forward with certainty. It is of course entirely Paul's prerogative that he should choose to let the club's deadline for a decision pass, but we are now at the point where we must move on and unexpectedly plan for a future without Paul as our manager. He has been Exeter City's most successful ever manager and he will always be welcome here and we wish him well."

Tisdale took Exeter City back into the Football League at the end of the 2007-08 Season, reversing the events that had led to their previous owners being kicked out of the club. He then gave them a second promotion to League One in 2008-09, and since then has helped Exeter build up a flourishing Academy system that has produced numerous first team players, as well as giving them in excess of 5 million worth of transfer income over the last five years.

In May 2018, he became the longest serving manager in the professional game, following Arsene Wenger's departure from Arsenal. That accolade now falls to Morecambe's Jim Bentley, who has been with the League Two side for just over seven years.

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1 June 2018 : Football League Survey Gives Emphatic Backing To Safe Standing Campaign
The Football League have published the results of their survey into fans attitudes towards terracing and safe standing at stadiums. The survey was conducted following an announcement last month that the League was prepared to campaign for a change in the law that currently prevents both top flight and second tier clubs from having any sort of standing accommodation. Those laws were brought in during the wake of the Hillsborough disaster, but subsequent revelations about the causes of that disaster, and the development of Rail Seats (commonly known as 'safe standing' options) have made clubs and campaign groups revisit this option.

So far, Brentford, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Northampton Town, Norwich City, Peterborough United, Portsmouth and Wimbledon have given their backing to safe standing, whilst Shrewsbury Town have become the first English professional club to fit rail seats within their stadium. A request by West Bromwich Albion to provide similar facilities in the Smethwick End of their ground was rejected by Government Sports minister Tracey Crouch who claimed that such facilities were only wanted by a 'vocal minority'.

A formal Government petition to change the laws was signed by over 110,000 people, and now the Football League's own survey says that 94 percent of football fans believe that clubs should be able to offer a choice of either seated or standing facilities at each ground. The League have highlighted that this is an issue that is seen as important, given that their survey was completed by more than 33,000 supporters - a record number of a League survey, that even led to the form software crashing on its first day of usage.

The survey results reveal that 69 percent would prefer to stand, whilst 22 percent of fans would prefer to sit at games. It will come as no surprise to find that the strength of feeling on this is at its highest with younger fans. The League have stated that there is high demand across all three divisions, meaning that it does have uniform support, even though the issues are mainly confined to those clubs who have been in the Championship or higher for any length of time. The League have also said that there is no material difference in opinion between clubs like Yeovil Town who are licenced to use terracing, and those that have been forced to convert their stadiums into all-seater stadiums - the demand remains consistently high. The League even states that the availability of standing facilities may increase attendances - 47 percent of fans say that they would attend more games if such facilities were available.

Football League Chief Executive Shaun Harvey has said that the objective of the survey was to demonstrate to the Government that there was a strength of feeling inside clubs and their supporter bases. He felt the survey results had shown a very clear outcome:

"We stated at the outset that we wanted this survey to provide Government with a clear indication of the strength of feeling amongst those supporters who attend matches every season. The response could not be clearer. Football supporters clearly want the option to stand at football matches and we see absolutely no reason why they should not be allowed the choice to have the matchday experience they want. With nearly half of all fans claiming they would attend more games if licensed standing was available, this campaign demonstrates how standing could play a significant role in boosting attendances, particularly with the under 35s demographic, a group of supporters that have a significant number of other options to consider when determining whether they will or will not attend a match. With stadium occupancy at 61 per cent in 2017-18, a change in legislation would provide an opportunity to increase revenue from gate receipts."

The main sensitivity of this issue lies with Stadium safety, although West Bromwich Albion's viewpoint has been that they regard seating as creating its own safety problems, when there is a large amount of movement within a section of a stadium, such as when a goal is scored. Harvey said the League were mindful of the need to produce legislation that considered Stadium safety, but he argued that the inconsistency between the way long-standing Championship clubs are treated, versus the flexibility that League One and League Two clubs could offer, needed to be resolved:

"The safety of all fans attending football matches is the number one priority and we very much understand why the issue of standing at football matches is sensitive and the concerns that the Government may have in terms of changing the legislation. However, it is the view of the EFL that the current legislation is not appropriate, with some League One and League Two clubs allowed standing areas in their stadiums but others not. When you consider the position in the Championship, it is equally unfair as clubs are required after three years to only offer seated accommodation. The standard of football on the pitch can have no bearing on whether standing accommodation should be available. If standing is permitted at a football match in League One, then why not a game from the division above if they are designed to the same standards? Alongside the FSF, the EFL is committed to working with Government in order to provide clubs with a choice on this matter, so that fans can choose the matchday experience they want - whether that be seated or standing in safe, licensed areas of grounds."

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