Year two of Shaun Harvey’s B Team revolution is coming to a close. But has it been any more successful than the first?
[This piece was updated on Tuesday 02 May to include a section exploring what the EFL decision to suspend ticket sales to Orient fans tells us about the future of the league.]
Yesterday Leyton Orient fans called the league’s bluff. But it turned out the league wasn’t bluffing, it really does only care about one thing.
The numbers are in: Shaun Harvey and his Checkatrade Trophy have failed. Both must be scrapped.
With just the final left to play, we can begin to measure the success or otherwise of this season’s changes to the Checkatrade Trophy. By bringing in young players from top academies, did it – as promised – revitalise a struggling competition? Did it inject new excitement for fans, new money for clubs and new hope for the future of the England national team?
League football in England has some serious problems. These include, in no particular order: the generally poor financial state of the clubs; the chasm between the Football League’s revenues and those of the Premier League; numerous rogue owners; increasingly uneconomic academies; a lack of investment in grassroots facilities and coaching; unaffordably high ticket prices; and glacial progress on fan ownership and safe standing. Continue reading