Chief Executive Discusses September
In the second installment of a monthly column, Blackpool Chief Executive Alex Cowdy discusses overnight trips, a special talk, first-team kit options and the EFL's Whole Game Solution in a September update.
The geographical make-up of Sky Bet League Two means plenty of time will be spent on the road this season, which was highlighted by consecutive away trips to Yeovil and Colchester at the start of September. Those fixtures were two of 18 overnight hotel stays planned for in the league, as we look to ensure the best possible preparation for players before matches.
Prior to the Crewe game I made arrangements with the manager for Sergeant Rick Clement to come in and give a motivational talk to the players. Rick, whilst serving in the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, lost both of his legs and suffered massive internal injuries in May 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. He now works tirelessly to raise money for military charities and refuses to let his injuries hold him back. His attitude to overcoming adversity is incredible and I know all the coaching staff and players appreciated the time he spent with them.
Though the new season is still in its infancy, I’ve already had an eye on next season when it comes to first-team kit and training wear. The club has now entered into the final season of its two-year contract extension with Errea, so talks with the Italian sportswear provider and other potential kit manufacturers for 2017/18 are already underway.
Aside from those discussions, I also had several productive meetings with global service providers at the latest Soccerex convention in Manchester. More than 3,000 delegates, 700 rights holding organisations and 450 clubs attended over a three-day period to network and offer insight into the changing landscape of the game.
Founded by Duncan Revie, who sadly passed away later that week, the Soccerex brand is one that was established in 1995 to connect football clubs and businesses and now attracts people from more than 80 countries.
Finally, EFL clubs recently met at Walsall to discuss the Whole Game Solution proposals. It involves the creation of a fourth EFL division, so a newly formed League Three, to help free up an overcrowded fixture list, improve club revenues and the format of EFL competitions. Regionalisation, the number of teams per division and where the additional teams will come from are still being considered, however clubs have collectively ruled out including Premier League B teams.