EFL Agreements For 2018/19
With yesterday's news about the EFL agreeing on an early closure of the summer transfer window from last season, a few other things were voted on as well.
All 72 member clubs had representatives at Villa Park for the meeting and the prime focus was on September's discussions surrounding an earlier end to the permanent transfer window to give clubs more stability on their squad of players once the new season had kicked off properly.
Full story - EFL Clubs Agree Early Transfer Window Closure.
A number of other issues were open for discussion at the meeting as well, and according to the EFL.com the first one surrounded the topic of 'full strength teams'.
Member clubs have now agreed to adoption of new guidance when it comes to what constitutes a 'full strength' side for matches in the EFL divisions.
The closing weeks of the 2016/17 campaign saw plenty of talk about 'full strength' sides and the perception of giving some teams an unfair advantage in their battles for promotion or relegation when it came to sides picking under strength teams as they managed the final few weeks of the campaign.
Huddersfield were one side that stood out as fans may be aware and remember and although no charges were brought on the back of any of the games raised from memory, it remained a hot topic moving forward.
The EFL has now drawn up a fresh policy on what is deemed a 'full strength team' and they have removed any ambiguity from the guidance as to avoid further reputational damage to the EFL and associated competitions.
Member clubs supported this change and have now adopted.
'for any League match played on or after the fourth Thursday in March (including Season 2017/18), any team sheet for a League game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the League match before.'
Should a club breach that threshold of ten, they may be charged under Regulation 24 and see the matter referred to the Disciplinary Commission.
Artificial pitches were also up for debate and all season long clubs have been encouraged to give their opinions on synthetic pitches and whether they should be used moving forward as part of a wider Stadium Criteria review.
A statement on this subject read.
'The current position was communicated at today`s club meeting, and 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.'
'Any National League club with aspirations to play in the EFL in 2018/19 was required to submit an application by December 31st 2017, confirming that in the event of achieving promotion, they would agree to comply with the qualification criteria, which includes the requirement for a grass playing surface. All National League clubs that have made an application have agreed to meet the criteria.'
Should a National League club gain promotion but fail to meet the grass criteria by a nominated date, the 23rd club in League Two will retain its status in the pyramid.
'While the use of artificial pitches is ultimately a matter for EFL clubs to decide, there are any number of other parties that have a significant interest, including the FA and the PFA, whose members have historically been against the use of artificial pitches in the EFL. Their views will also need taking into account before any decision is made.'
Goal line technology was also a subject and the EFL have confirmed that following its introduction to the Championship in 2017/18, goal line technology will be used in this year's League One and League Two Semi Final Play Offs.
And for now that's your lot, although what new ideas we get at the summer meeting is anyone's guess.