Date: 22nd September 2016 at 11:18pm
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The Football League, or EFL for those who like pointless rebrands, have now compiled the initial responses from the 72 clubs under their umbrella when it came to the subject of the Whole Game Solution.

With some clubs publicly posting their views the other week, and other clubs actively trying to engage the thoughts of fans in online surveys, yesterday the Football League categorically ruled out the introduction of Premier League B sides in any formal structural reform plan for the divisions below the top flight.

The Premier League themselves had already ruled out B teams in the English pyramid, but fans were rightfully concerned that it would be the end game despite that promise given the introduction of Academy sides into the Football League Trophy this season.

Clubs had until yesterday to hand in their initial responses, with plenty of clubs pointing out it was difficult to respond as not enough details were given for some of the suggestions already mooted, but clearly any Whole Game Solution and introduction of a fourth Football League, does not have support from member clubs to fill those created spaces with sides anywhere other than the National League.

Ergo, worries of combining the likes of Celtic and Rangers, amongst others, from the Scottish Football League is also completely off the table.

Other issues in the WGS like fund redistribution owing to a reduced number of fixtures, and topics like a winter break will continue to be discussed over the next few months – for the winter break, clubs in League 1, League 2 and the proposed League 3 have already indicated that they would want to continue playing through the winter weeks regardless of a break coming in potentially at Premier League and Championship levels.

EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said.

‘At the very outset of this process it was made clear that any decisions in respect of the future direction of the Whole Game Solution would be taken by clubs themselves and our announcement today comes as a result of their valued input. I am extremely grateful for their candour and support during the first part of this consultation that will ultimately help shape a final proposal for voting on in June next year. The logical place for many was to source the additional teams for League Three from the National League but we felt it important that the debate was introduced at an early stage and an opportunity was provided for all Club owners` and executives` to voice any opinions and, where applicable, table concerns. We will now continue our consultation with the National League with a little more certainty as to what any change could mean for them. These conversations will include the FA in their capacity as the Governing Body not a competition organiser.’

He added.

‘In addition, our dialogue will continue with the Premier League as we focus on ensuring we achieve our specific and primary objective of improving distributable revenue to our clubs and reaching a format that benefits the EFL, its competitions and the wider professional game. The next round of consultation will also see us undertake some work with fan groups and other stakeholders to ensure that those people who are invested in the future our game are given an opportunity to register their views.’

With the possibility of B teams now thoroughly removed from the equasion, fans will be waiting to see what the further discussions bring given the ideas suggested so far.

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