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  1. The EFL has announced that a vote will take place at their AGM in June to decide on whether producing matchday programmes should continue to be a requirement for each club playing a league home game. “At is summer meeting in June 2018, the EFL will vote on a proposal that will determine whether or not it is an absolute requirement to produce a matchday programme from the start of the 2018/19 season onwards," a statement read. “A number of clubs have asked the EFL if the mandatory publication of a matchday programme can be addressed as a result of an overall decline in sales and the proliferation of digital and social media, which has the ability to deliver the same content in a more cost-effective manner. “Irrespective of the outcome at June's AGM, the EFL will continue to produce a match programme for its five competition finals - the Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and Sky Bet Play-Offs." Big news here... if a matchday is no longer a requirement, just how many clubs will choose to opt out, either right away or after a few months/years as more and more clubs opt to stop doing them to reduce costs? And this would certainly mean that you could no longer get a full set of 46 programmes (or however many league games will end up being played in one season) for home and away, plus extras for cup games, or at the very least the full 23 for home games... wouldn't it feel almost like an incomplete Panini album? Let's get your thoughts!
  2. From the Notts website: The EFL has confirmed its partnership with Quest, the Discovery-owned free-to-air TV channel powered by Eurosport, to become the new home of football highlights for the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two, Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy. The partnership between the EFL and Quest will guarantee accessible high quality, free-to-air coverage for football fans across the country. Kicking off from the 2018-19 season the four-year deal will see Quest provide 90 minutes of extensive match highlights, hosted by Colin Murray, in primetime at 9pm every Saturday night. Quest will also broadcast 10 hour-long highlights shows capturing all the action from every round of mid-week fixtures. In addition, Quest will present eight hour-long highlights shows from the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy as part of the arrangement. Quest is available in 27 million homes across Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV. With a monthly reach of 12.4million, Quest is Discovery’s largest channel in the UK, and enjoyed its best ever first-quarter performance in 2018. The EFL highlights will headline Quest’s line-up of sports events throughout the year which are delivered by leveraging Eurosport’s sport production expertise. This list already includes snooker’s Home Nations series, cycling’s Giro d’Italia, British and World Superbike Championships and football’s pre-season tournament, the Emirates Cup. Each show will feature every goal from every EFL fixture plus in-depth analysis from a selection of expert pundits, hosted by Colin Murray who has proved a popular figure on the existing EFL highlights show and now joins Quest for the 2018-19 season. The new partnership guarantees the EFL comprehensive free-to-air linear coverage and enhanced digital content across Quest’s platforms, building on the current EFL distribution strategy to engage more fans than ever before. In a first for the EFL, Quest will produce 'the Reaction' - a new weekly interactive Facebook series also presented by Colin Murray. With a strong focus on engaging fans from clubs across the country, the series will offer the opportunity for supporters to voice their views and opinions following the conclusion of the day’s matches. What do you think about this deal?
  3. EFL clubs have voted in favour of shutting the summer transfer window for permanent transfers on August 9. The deadline will now be at 5pm on the Thursday after the opening round of EFL fixtures. However, clubs in the Football League will still be able to loan players and register any that are made free agents up until August 31. The decision brings the 72 clubs in line with the Premier League, who voted in favour of closing the window before their season starts last September. Of the teams from the Championship, League One and League Two, 40 voted in favour of the change while 29 went against. There were no abstentions and the remaining three clubs instead sent their apologies. EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey said in a statement: "After discussing the options throughout the course of the last few months, I'm pleased that the matter has been determined by clubs ahead of the start of next season. "This new approach will give clubs and managers the stability they crave earlier in the season whilst also providing the flexibility to add to their squads after the traditional deadline until the end of month if required." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  4. From BBC Sport (link to full story): The German Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and France Ligue 1 are some of the leagues in Europe to have a winter break in their schedules, and the Premier League is also considering introducing one when the next television rights deal is agreed. In a statement, the Premier League said it had been "in discussions" with the EFL and the FA, but, due to the intense calendar of the EFL, Shaun Harvey says it is not feasible for a winter break to be rolled out below the top flight. "We have been involved in the discussions to start with. The EFL won't observe a winter break," said Harvey. "We have a 46-game season. We need as many Saturday 3pm kick-offs as possible. "The reality is if it is about giving the England internationals a break at the Premier League clubs, we can carry on without negatively impacting on that objective." Is Harvey right to pour cold water on the prospect of a winter break for the EFL, or is it a shame?
  5. Former Notts County defender Michael Johnson has stated that a Rooney Rule in football will allow black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches to showcase their talent. Despite BAME footballers constituting almost 30 per cent of players, the percentage of BAME senior coaches at professional football clubs currently stands at 4.6 per cent. At present, there are five BAME managers in the top four divisions - Keith Curle, Chris Hughton, Nuno Espirito Santo, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Jack Lester. Named after former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney and introduced in 2003, the rule states that at least one ethnic minority candidate must be interviewed for each senior coaching position. Johnson praised the Football League for the Rooney Rule scheme it piloted last season, which he said has resulted in an "uplift" in the number of BAME coaches recruited for academy coaching roles. But the under-representation of BAME coaches in first-team managerial positions remains an issue, and Johnson believes the implementation of the rule would help address the disparity. "We're not saying anybody because you're black or because you're Asian should get a job," Johnson told Sky Sports News. "No, absolutely not. "What we are saying is that it would be great just to get an opportunity to be in the interview room and just be part of that interview process. Just let somebody look at you and see what you're all about. "At the minute, there are not enough black or Asian coaches getting through the door to be allowed to showcase their skills. The Rooney Rule would be a remedy." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  6. From Sky Sports News: All 72 EFL clubs have agreed to implement three-year bans for supporters found using smoke bombs, flares and fireworks in a bid to “put an end to the dangerous use of pyrotechnics”. The clubs have signed up to a new Chairman's Charter looking to stop the use of any pyrotechnics within EFL stadiums amid concerns for supporter safety. Fans could face consequences if they attempt to take a banned item into a ground or if they are found to have discharged pyrotechnics within a stadium. Are you pleased about this rule coming into place?
  7. Matt Tootle has praised Kevin Nolan for the support shown to him since the manager's arrival at Notts County in January. The left-back has been speaking out about his problems with mental health and how they threatened to derail his career at one point. In May, Tootle revealed revealed how he had enjoyed a superb season at Crewe Alexandra going into the summer of 2014, but "something then just triggered" in his mind while he was on holiday in the off-season. Over the last few weeks, the 27-year-old has spoken to the likes of talkSPORT about the topic, which has prompted waves of support from people who have been affected by mental health issues. In an interview with the official EFL site, Tootle said: “The reaction has been unbelievable – for me it has been quite emotional. “From the place I was in to be able to speak out now, I take great pleasure in trying to help people. I know what some of these people are going through and to hear about how much I have helped is really good. “Since the new manager has come in he has been unbelievable with me. He knows me and what I need. When I came back after the summer he and the assistant manager both congratulated me telling me how proud they were that I’d come through this. “I was worried they would ‘tag’ me... but if anything they saw it as the opposite, which was refreshing to hear. I like to think that they’ve seen I’ve come on leaps and bounds and that there is much more to come from me as well!” Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Fancy showcasing your brand or business on Pride of Nottingham? Click here to find out more about sponsorship and advertising opportunities with us.
  8. The Premier League transfer window has been in the news this week (well, it's always in the news, but the behind the scenes stuff, I mean) as there are going to be discussions over whether clubs in the top flight should be forbidden from buying players once the first game of the season has got underway. Now, the EFL is also looking to discuss a similar concept with its clubs. A spokesman said: "The EFL Board and its clubs have previously expressed the opinion that closing the summer transfer window in advance of the season commencing would be an improvement on the current position. "On this basis we will be tabling the matter for discussion with clubs in September. "It will be important that all the consequences of such a decision are fully considered, as the requirements of our clubs are different to those in Europe's top flight leagues." What do you think? Should clubs in the EFL be forbidden from buying new players once the season is underway? Or should it only be done by the Premier League, who have the resources to cope with it? Let PON know.
  9. Nope, not a reference to the Swedish pop band (so no "Dancing Queen" blasting out of the tannoy at half time... what a shame eh), but the new penalty shootout method adopted by the EFL for the upcoming season. So how does this ABBA system work? Over to the Beeb... As the current system stands, teams take turns in a shootout, with the choice of who goes first decided by a coin toss. For example, team A goes first, then team B, then team A again. The new system sees team A followed by team B - before team B goes again. Team A would then get two successive penalties, a little like the tie-break in tennis, and so on until there is a winner. A coin will still be tossed to decide who goes first. It will be implemented in all ties in the Carabao Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and EFL playoffs. So... a good idea or another unnecessary p*ssing about with the game's rules? Your thoughts, let's git em!
  10. Alan Hardy has revealed that he plans to speak to the EFL about certain aspects of the Notts County fixture list. On Wednesday, all 72 clubs found out their fixtures for the 2018/18 League Two season, with the Magpies starting with a trip to Coventry City followed by a home game with Chesterfield. Despite the tough start against two League One relegation sufferers, Hardy is relishing those games, but was left unhappy with having an opening away game for the seventh consecutive season as well as some of the festive fixtures. He wrote in the Nottingham Post: "Amid all the euphoria of the fixtures coming out, I have to say there were a couple of aspects I was very disappointed with. "We are away on the opening day for the seventh consecutive season and I need to have a conversation with the Football League as to how that can happen. "The Christmas holiday fixtures are also extremely disappointing. "We play Morecambe on Boxing Day and leaving at 10am in the morning and getting home at 9pm isn't appealing at all. "Christmas has always been about families and not spending seven or eight hours in the car travelling to a game. "At the chairman's conference recently, I was talking to the fixtures secretary and said that it must take hours and hours of planning. "But apparently it all goes into a computer allied to certain conditions that ourselves and Forest must not be at home on the same day for instance. "There is also another that tries to cut down on the travelling for a midweek fixture, but we have Yeovil and Exeter away on Tuesday nights. "It's disappointing the return games are not on a Tuesday either because at least it would have been fair to both sides. "I just don't think the EFL have done a great job in terms of the scheduling and it's something I intend to raise." To read the full column on the Nottingham Post website, click here. Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  11. Alan Hardy has spoken excitedly about the prospect of taking on Lincoln City this season in League Two and also of facing Coventry City in the very first game of the season, but was unhappy with the festive program. The EFL fixtures for each of their three divisions were published at 9am on Wednesday, with Pride of Nottingham at Meadow Lane to cover the reveal as it happened. The draw was not kind to the Magpies, however, as the Sky Blues and Chesterfield, both of whom were relegated from League One in 2016-17, would be first and second to take on Kevin Nolan's charges this season. Hardy was happy enough with the initial set of games, but was even more excited about renewing rivalries with the Imps and with Mansfield Town. He told the Nottingham Post: "The Mansfield game will obviously be massive with a big crowd, but I am really looking forward to playing Lincoln. "Their boys will be cock-a-hoop after the season they have had and they will be full of confidence. I can't wait to get them here on our new pitch. "But overall I can't wait. Coventry away for the first game is a top, top, draw. It will be tough, but how exciting?" The post-Christmas fixtures are not kind either - Notts will travel to Morecambe on Boxing Day before a trip to Swindon just four days later. "There are two disappointments for me and the first is that we play Morecambe on Boxing Day," Hardy continued. "That means the fans are going to have to leave at 10am in the morning and is that really fair on their families? "It's a poor fixture for us and that is then followed by another long trip to Swindon over the holiday period. "It's also the seventh consecutive season we are away on the opening day and that can't be right." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  12. So the EFL fixtures for 2017-18 have been released, and Notts have a pretty darn difficult start. Coventry away, followed by Chesterfield at home (and between them an EFL Cup trip to Scunthorpe). What do you think of the Notts fixtures then? Worried about the tricky start or reckon it might be better as it will cut out complacency? And what fixtures are you looking forward to the most? Let PON know!
  13. Notts County will begin the 2017/18 League Two season with a trip to Coventry City on Saturday 5 August. As fixtures go, it is arguably one of the trickiest propositions for the Magpies, with the Sky Blues coming down from League One the previous season. Things do not get easier either, with local rivals Chesterfield coming to Meadow Lane a week later in County's first home game of the campaign. In terms of the other first local clashes of the season, Lincoln City will head to the Lane on 23 September, while Mansfield Town are the opponents at the One Call a week later. The regular season will then finish with a home game against Luton Town on 5 May. Here is a list of all the fixtures. Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans. Edited 21 hours ago by Joe Jones (show revisions)
  14. Jon Stead has elaborated on his decision to reject interest from all around the world to sign a new Notts County contract and promised that there is more to come from him next season. During the 2016-17 campaign, the 34-year-old was the Magpies' highest scorer with 14 goals, and he won the League Two Player of the Month award for September. There was interest from the United States for Stead, who was sidelined by injury midway through the season, but he has now committed his future to Meadow Lane by signing a new deal believed to be for one more year. Stead told the Nottingham Post: "(Nolan) was obviously pleased I had signed but he made it clear from the day he walked through the door that he wanted me to be a part of his journey. "As a player you want to be made to feel important by your manager and that was another reason as to why I decided to stay. "I made the decision to stay about two-and-a-half weeks ago. I had been on holiday and had also been away from the club for two to three weeks. Being away from everything certainly helped give me clarity to decide what I was going to do. "And even up until Thursday, I was still getting messages containing offers from clubs across the world. I had a couple in Sweden, then one to play in the Indian Super League, and obviously I spoke to quite a few clubs in America too. "I just felt in the end that Notts felt right, but it took a lot of sleepless nights. It was not just a big decision for my career, but also my life. It's a massive undertaking to move abroad and I just felt that I wasn't ready to let go of the Football League. "There's definitely more to come from me next season." Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  15. The list of released and retained players at EFL clubs has been published following the conclusion of the 2016/17 season. Players detailed on the released list can still re-sign or may have now re-signed for their respective clubs ahead of the new season, and so their inclusion does not necessarily mean the player will be leaving the club. The information was correct as of 20th May 2017. https://www.efl.com/siteassets/efl-documents/efl-released-and-retained-list---2016-17.pdf
  16. From the EFL site: The EFL Futures scheme has given a £750,000 boost to those Football League clubs who introduced young English players into their starting line up in 2016-17. The incentive scheme came into force for the beginning of this year and was designed to commit a total of £2.25m to the three tiers for those clubs who actively gave game time to players aged under 21 and eligible to play for England (or Wales for Cardiff City and Newport County). With all appearance data now collected and collated, those numbers have been assessed and the EFL have distributed the first batch of that incentive money out to qualifying teams. Interestingly but probably not surprisingly, clubs in League One and League Two benefited more than Championship clubs with a total pay out of: League Two = £304,000 League One = £294,000 Championship = £152,000 In the year of 2016/17 almost 10% of appearances made across the three tiers were made by eligible youngsters with those appearances being made by 322 players from a pool of approximately 2,500 registered players across the three divisions. 80% of all under 21 appearances were made by players who qualified for the EFL Futures fund. No information as to how much money each individual club got, however. Thoughts about this scheme?
  17. From the official Notts site: Notts County are hosting a special breakfast to celebrate the release of the 2017-18 EFL fixtures. The Magpies will learn their Sky Bet League Two schedule on Wednesday 21 June and Alan Hardy, Les Bradd, Mark Draper and other special guests will join supporters at Meadow Lane for the big reveal. The package, priced £10 + VAT per person, includes: - Breakfast sandwich and refreshments - The opportunity to put questions to the chairman and special guests - Networking opportunities - Exclusive discount on the club's brand-new hospitality and sponsorship packages To book, please email kirsty.edwards@nottscountyfc.co.uk or call 0115 955 7241. Reckon you might come to this?
  18. Everything has now been wrapped up in the Premier League and Football League, with all 92 clubs knowing where they stand next season. No sooner has the final whistle gone on the final playoff fixture, that we have all the necessary dates to put in our diary and look forward to for 2017-18. Here are the key dates you must know about. EFL fixture release Wednesday, June 21 EFL 2017-18 season kickoff Weekend of Friday, August 4 - Sunday, August 6 EFL Cup competitions EFL Cup (Carabao Cup): Week commencing August 7. EFL Trophy (Checkatrade Trophy): Week beginning August 28. Final matches of EFL 2017-18 season Weekend of May 5, 2018. Playoff finals in 2017-18 Championship final: May 26 League One final: May 27 League Two final: May 28 Share your thoughts about this news story on Pride of Nottingham by signing up to the website, visiting the forum and joining in the chat with hundreds of fellow Notts County fans.
  19. Some interesting comments from Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt about the EFL Trophy vote, where he talks of a "master and servant" relationship between the Premier League and the EFL.
  20. Jon Stead has given a lengthy interview to the Daily Mail as part of their last EFL Q&A of the season. If you wanted to know all the nitty gritty about the striker's best and worst moments in football, his hardest opponents, and of course, his guilty food pleasure, look no further. Here it is: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4475930/EFL-Q-Jon-Stead-opens-up.html Have a read and let's discuss the finer points of what he's had to say - plenty of interesting material in there.
  21. Sky Bet, sponsors of the EFL, have donated 72 signed shirts, one for each club in the Championship, League One and League Two, to the Great Britain Deaf football team to help raise the funding they need to get to the Deaflympics in Turkey in July. The team are currently £13,500 short of their target, which needs to be raised by April 16 if they are to attend the finals - they receive no funding from the government or UK Sport. The money will be used to support the team's preparations for the Deaflympics 2017, with training weekends and matches in the build-up to the competition, plus the cost involved in representing the male and female teams at the tournament. Look out for all of the items - and keep a look out for the Notts County shirt - at: @GB_DeafFootball To donate to the campaign outside of the auction, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TeamGBDF
  22. The EFL has published some of the key dates for things happening next season. The 2017-18 fixtures will be released on Wednesday 21 June, the opening weekend of the season is that of Saturday 5 / Sunday 6 August, the regular season ends exactly nine months later (5/6 May) and the League Two playoff final is on Monday May 28. For these and all the other dates, they're handily posted on this here link: http://www.efl.com/global/keydates.aspx If you don't want to tempt fate and would rather write them down at the end of the season, tis up to you.

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