Supporters representing Clubs from all three EFL divisions were welcomed in an informal event, which was hosted by the BBC’s Mark Clemmit and featured representatives from the EFL and the PGMOL’s Chris Foy.
In opening the night’s activities, host Mark Clemmit, said: “This is one of several Fan Forums taking place throughout the season and the idea is to engage with supporters up and down the country, with fans and EFL representatives coming together to discuss issues, ask questions and assess the progress of the game as it moves forward.”
The evening began with an overview of the EFL and its current position in key areas from the EFL’s Director of Communications Mark Rowan, before moving onto the subject of match officials with Chris Foy giving the audience an interactive insight into the challenges facing referees and their assistants in the modern game.
Attendees were challenged to make a call on some tough real-life decisions that recent action within the EFL has thrown up and, with decisions split on some calls, it highlighted both the difficulties referees face on a regular basis, but also their ability to make the rights decisions the vast majority of the time.
Ahead of Tuesday’s EFL Day of Action, the audience was then presented with an insight into the work that takes place throughout Clubs’ Community Trusts by the EFL Trusts’ Michelle Robbins, who outlined the activity taking place on a daily basis to tackle some of the biggest issues in society across education, health, community inclusion and participation.
The final discussion focussed on the digital developments taking place across football, with the EFL’s Russ Byrne expanding on the recent innovative developments being introduced to provide improved access to match streaming, both at home and abroad for supporters across the EFL.
Fans also heard from the EFL’s Competitions Manager Paul Snellgrove, who explained the process of fixture selection and the working relationship between Sky, the EFL and the relevant authorities on this issue before the evening concluded with an open Q&A between supporters and the panellists.
A further EFL Fan Forum is planned to take place in London in April. Details will be communicated when confirmed.