Gills chairman Paul Scally comments on the proposed changes to the Football League
Last week, the Football League revealed its plans to change the structure of English football. Among the ideas were plans to create a new league division as of the 2019/20 season, minimise midweek fixtures and reduce fixture congestion.
Commenting on the reforms, Gillingham FC chairman Paul Scally said:
“The Football League has produced an exciting and innovative set of proposals. I remember when the creation of a play-off format was first suggested; there was plenty of initial opposition, but they’ve turned out to be the single-most creative idea implemented in English football in the last 30 years.
“I’m not saying I’m in favour of the plans; however I believe the proposals deserve proper consideration. The idea of playing more games with greater significance, but fewer matches in total is attractive to me, in so far as supporters would not have to travel great distances on a Tuesday night (we played midweek fixtures at Fleetwood Town and Rochdale last season, for example). A Christmas break could also be of huge benefit, too.
“Furthermore, the players would still play over 40 games a season once you include cup fixtures. It’s worth noting that, because of the rigours of the 51-match campaign the club has just finished, we still have players recovering from the gruelling demands placed on them.
“The proposals were loosely discussed by the Football League prior to their release, and we can now undertake over a year of consultation with supporters, stakeholders, sponsors and other interested parties until they go to a vote.
“In particular, consideration needs to be given to how the eight new members of the Football League are appointed. Provided we can protect the integrity of the Football League and the competition, clubs’ income streams and the interested parties are happy, I believe we can have a productive period of discussion.”
Of the current 72 Football League clubs, 90 per cent must back the proposals for them to be implemented.