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Club statement following EFL AGM

13 June 2016

Following the EFL Summer Conference and AGM 2016, Notts County FC would like to update supporters on a number of proposals and changes.

EFL Trophy 
The English Football League have agreed to pilot a new format for the EFL Trophy. 

The one season trial for season 2016/17 will include 64 teams made up of EFL League One and Two clubs, plus an additional 16 category 1 Premier League academy/under-21 sides. 

Central to the competition will be the introduction of a new group stage format with 16 regional groups of four teams.  The top two teams will progress to the knockout stages of the competition with the final staged at Wembley Stadium in April 2017.  

Full details for 2016/17’s competition will be finalised within the next 14 days. 

Taking into consideration the wider concerns for the future of the competition, Notts County voted to support this proposal, along with the majority of other clubs, for one season only to secure the immediate future of the cup.
 
The discussion at the EFL Conference confirmed the competition is in serious need of innovation to survive and a number of clubs even stated they would consider withdrawing from the competition if it was not boosted. Many clubs struggle to break-even from EFL Trophy matches, and numerous clubs voiced genuine concerns the competition would fold if it does not improve quickly, as the prize money and TV interest is low. 
 
Notts County supported the decision to trial a solution to save the competition, which currently does not have a sponsor. This is for a set period of one year and if the proposals do not work, they will not be renewed for the following season. The prize money for the competition will be doubled for next season. 

This is not in any way opening the door to Premier League ‘B Teams’ entering the league structure and Notts County would be vehemently against any such proposals.

Whilst some supporters will disagree with the proposed changes, after careful consideration and discussion, we felt that it was important to explore ways to boost the competition and ensure that it could continue.

Whole Game Solution
There were initial discussions around the EFL’s proposed ‘Whole Game Solution’, including the proposal to move to a five division, 100 team structure for the 2019/20 season. After much debate, clubs asked for more information and further consultation to take place at subsequent meetings throughout 2016/17.

Board & Governance
Clubs ratified the appointment of Ian Lenagan as the new Chairman of the EFL with immediate effect, as well as the re-appointment of Independent Director, Richard Bowker.
 
Clubs also approved a series of proposals aimed at ensuring that the EFL meets the highest standards of Corporate Governance including:
 
• The chairman, independent directors and six club representatives on the EFL Board will be limited to a maximum of two consecutive terms of three years.
• The EFL’s two representatives on the FA Board will include one EFL Director nominated by Championship clubs and one EFL Director nominated by League One/League Two clubs.
• Club representatives on the FA Council will be limited to serving no more than six consecutive terms (of one year).

Loan Players 
Following FIFA’s withdrawal of consent for the EFL’s ‘emergency loan’ system, clubs have agreed to a number of measures aimed at easing the transition to the revised arrangements, including:
 
• A player registered on a standard loan may continue to play non-first team football for his parent club during the term of his loan period.
• Clubs will be permitted to sign a goalkeeper on a seven day ‘emergency loan’ basis if they do not have a senior goalkeeper that has made 5 starting appearances in first team football.
• Clubs will be able to recall a goalkeeper at 24 hours’ notice from a loan period at another club if they are unable to field two fit goalkeepers in their 18 man match-day squad.

Clubs Defaulting on Transfer Payments
EFL regulations relating to transfer payments have been amended to permit the application of a transfer embargo to a club that defaults on sums owed to clubs outside the EFL or Premier League.

Supporter Engagement
From 2016/17 clubs will be required to hold at least two meetings with a representative group of the club’s supporters, putting into practice commitments made by the EFL as part of the Government’s Expert Working Group on Supporter Ownership and Engagement which made a series of recommendations earlier in 2016.
 
New Recruitment Practices for BAME Coaching Positions
At least 10 clubs will be piloting new proposals for the 2016/17 season, which include the introduction of mandatory new recruitment practices for BAME coaching positions in Academy football and a Voluntary Recruitment Code in first team football.
 
As an open and inclusive club, Notts County gave their full support to the proposals.
 
They are:
 
Mandatory Requirements at Academy level 
 
Under EFL regulations:
 
• Clubs will be required to advertise any position within the club’s Academy that requires the individual to hold a UEFA A or UEFA B coaching badge on the club’s website and the EFL website for a minimum of 7 days.
• Clubs must include at least one suitably qualified BAME candidate (where an application has been received) on the interview shortlist for that position.
• Clubs must appoint the successful candidate on the basis of merit alone.
• Clubs must provide details of the recruitment process to the EFL, including the number of BAME applicants and the number of BAME candidates interviewed.
• Clubs will be permitted to fill a position by promoting an internal candidate (from a position requiring a UEFA A or B coaching badge only) without applying the above process.  However, the position vacated by that individual must be filled in accordance with the new regulations.
 
Voluntary Recruitment Code in First Team Football
 • During the season, clubs will be expected to interview one or more BAME candidate for any First Team managerial/coaching role (where an application has been received) in instances where they run a full recruitment process.
• During the close season, clubs will be expected to run a full recruitment process for any First Team managerial/coaching role during which they must interview one or more BAME candidates (where an application has been received).

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