What a blindingly successful few years it’s been for the EFL hierarchy.
They’ve simply watched on as historic clubs such as Blackpool and Charlton Athletic are run into the ground by their abysmal owners.
They engineered the Checkatrade Trophy revamp, which allowed top-level clubs to enter their U21 sides to help them gain competitive experience. This unsurprisingly led to record low attendances for the competition.
And back in November, they signed off the highly contentious new £595m broadcasting contract with Sky Sports, which left clubs – many of whom weren’t consulted over the deal – furious about how undervalued it was.
So, it was music to football fans’ ears when it was announced on Monday that the man at the top of the pile, Shaun Harvey, will leave his role as EFL chief executive at the end of the season.
That gives the EFL a few months to diligently scout out his successor and pick the right person for the job.
It’s a decision they must get right, and so to lend a helping hand we’ve compiled five ideal candidates who should all be an absolute shoo-in for the interview stage at least…
The leader of the free world is in such fantastic shape, we’re sure he would have no problem taking on a second post and doing a great, great, tremendous job of it.
Should President Trump take the helm, the first thing he would do is tear up that terrible TV deal and play ultra-hard ball with Sky Sports.
Yes, that may well include a mid-season shutdown of the league for a month or two, but eventually the ink will be drying on a sparkling new £5bn deal and the Twitter threat of dropping a nuclear warhead on the Sky studios would be dropped.
If the EFL were to consider voting to leave the football pyramid in order to forge their own path in a brave new league scheme, there would be no better person to lead them than prime minister Theresa May.
Nobody is more suited to negotiating a wonderfully beneficial withdrawal agreement from the governing body whilst taking effective, decisive action to lead their organisation.
As an added bonus, she will inevitably be out of work in a few months’ time and so could start in the job the second she’s needed. Win-win.
The man behind the doomed Fyre Festival shambles is an expert in “over-promising and under-delivering”. We’re not sure whether possessing that trait is a prerequisite to submitting your CV to the EFL role, but it really ought to be.
McFarland could revolutionise the fan experience, making it compulsory that all 72 clubs lay on gourmet catering (cold burger and cheese slices on dry bread) for their matchday crowds.
For excited kids and rich idiots alike there would also be the option to pay to sleep on their club’s pitch in a half-built tent with a soaking wet mattress. Mmmm, luxury.
With such extensive experience in letting down both suppliers (clubs) and guests (fans), the American would slip into Harvey’s old shoes seamlessly. Just as soon as he gets out of jail, anyway.
There are many good reasons as to why the “most powerful man in sports” would be a perfect fit for the Football League.
The long-serving Commissioner of the NFL would bring a wealth of knowledge regarding just about every aspect of developing professional sport, from collective bargaining between teams, league expansions, stadium development and negotiating mega-money television contracts.
But it would be his tough stance on spying that would be most valuable of all. As we’re all aware, Leeds United’s use of a public road to watch Derby County’s training session brought utter shame to the game we all love, and the mere £200k fine the EFL handed out simply isn’t enough justice.
When a similar episode occurred between the New England Patriots and New York Jets in 2007, Goodell issued the Pats with fines totalling $750,000 and stripped them of a first-round draft pick.
No club would dare peek at a training session unfolding in plain sight ever again with the American in charge – just how it should be.
The businessman and former prime minister of Thailand would be an astute appointment, owing to his year-long stint in the English game as the owner of Manchester City in 2007.
Admittedly he may be tough to track down given he’s currently living in exile after being found guilty of corruption. But hey, he’s a billionaire and football is about nothing more than making money at any cost these days, so he’s definitely doing something right.
As a ringing endorsement, Sven-Goran Eriksson, the Citizens’ manager under Shinawatra, stated later that the Thai “didn’t understand football – he hadn’t a clue.”