Interview: Former Football League CEO on the game’s “impossible job”

22 March 2021

Shaun Harvey
Photo: Alamy Shaun Harvey joined the EFL as its first CEO in 2013 following nine years in the same position at Leeds United. He left the Football League in 2019.

Shaun Harvey who ran the EFL for six years says the board’s policy was a “rescue culture” with success measured in terms of keeping its 72 clubs alive for the whole season.

Harvey left the EFL in 2019 amidst heavy criticism about governance and commercial deals. Harvey is saying that no club entered administration until the final days of his reign.

Yorkshireman has been advising Wrexham’s new owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, on their takeover and operations.

Harvey says that salary caps “anomalous” with a competitive industry, but says Wrexham won’t be spending their way into the league.

James Corbett corbett@offthepitch.com

Two years after it was announced he was calling an end to his six-year reign as Football League CEO, in an exclusive interview Shaun Harvey has told Off The Pitch of the “impossible job” of running one of the world’s most economically diverse leagues, saying that one of the great challenges of his former job was that there no metrics for success “other than getting 72 clubs from the start of the season to the end of the season.”

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