THE Trust recently met with the football club to discuss proposals for what would be a significant restructure of the Football League – known as the ‘Whole Game Solution’.
Ideas floated in the ‘Whole Game Solution’ – an initiative of the EFL put to all football league clubs this summer – included regionalised divisions, reducing the number of midweek games, and adding an extra division to the league structure. This would make it five divisions of 20 teams rather than the current three lower leagues of 24 sides.
To give credit to the EFL, they do appear to be consulting far more widely on this issue than they did on the Checkatrade Trophy, where there was little to no views sought from fans at all.
A couple of weeks ago some Trust board members met with staff at the football club to discuss how it would be responding to the proposals in the Whole Game Solution.
In order to inform our feedback, we launched an online survey. Despite not running for that long, we had a healthy number of people, more than 300, giving their views on the proposals.
Of those who voted, 82.3 per cent believed that the Football League was fine as it is, with 17.7 per cent believing there needed to be some sort of restructure.
Fans were also overwhelmingly in favour of keeping the structure as it is, with 82 per cent thinking we should stick with the four divisions as it stands, and 20 per cent welcoming the idea of an extra division.
Asked whether there were too many fixtures in a football season, 67.8 per cent chose ‘no’ with the remaining feeling that there were too many games crammed in.
Most overwhelmingly, supporters seemed to be dead set against regionalising any divisions, with 88.2 per cent of voters reluctant to see the idea implemented.
Other findings in the survey showed more than half of respondents felt the Checkatrade Trophy should be scrapped altogether, and that a winter break was not needed.
Finally, supporters were keen to see the FA Cup return to its more traditional roots, with 88 per cent feeling the Cup Final should be the final game of the football calendar, and 69 per cent felt games should be played at weekends (excluding replays).
While of course it cannot represent the entire Cobblers fanbase, we feel the results of the survey were a good indication of what supporters want to see.
We know that the club was keen to canvass the opinion of the supporters as part of the club’s response, so the results of the Trust’s survey formed part of the club’s reply to the EFL.
Thank you to all who took the time to respond to the survey. Anyone wishing to see the results in full can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org