EFL chief at heart of Portsmouth fans’ Checkatrade Trophy boycott to step down

Shaun Harvey is to step down from his role as chief executive of the English Football League (EFL) at the end of the season.

By Mark McMahon
Monday, 18th February 2019, 11:02 am
Updated Monday, 18th February 2019, 12:14 pm
Pompey fans have stayed away from the Blues' run to the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy Pictuire: Robin Jones
Pompey fans have stayed away from the Blues' run to the semi-finals of the Checkatrade Trophy Pictuire: Robin Jones

The 48-year-old took the top job at the organisation in 2013, but will end his tenure in the summer.

Harvey oversaw a controversial deal for domestic broadcasting rights last November.

This left numerous Championship clubs ‘gravely concerned’ by the £595m five-year agreement with Sky Sports, which they claim had been done without them being fully consulted.

Chief executive of the Football League Shaun Harvey

He was also responsible for the hugely-contentious decision to invite 16 top-level under-21 sides into the Checkatrade Trophy.

The format is designed to give the country’s leading young footballers the opportunity to taste first-team football, while also providing EFL clubs with an opportunity to attract new audiences and additional revenue.

However, Pompey fans have let their dissatisfaction with the new-look competition be known by boycotting games.

This season they’ve hosted both the under-21 teams from Spurs and Arsenal, yet only 3,138 and 3,109 attendances were recorded for the games at Fratton Park.

The Blues also booked their place in the semi-final of the competition with a 2-0 win at Southend last month.

Only 189 away tickets were sold for the match, with 1,649 in total at Roots Hall for the fixture.

Pompey play their semi-final at Bury on Tuesday, February 26.