Accrington chairman Andy Holt says his club will no longer be a part of the iFollow streaming service, describing it as a “deliberately flawed concept”.
Holt wrote to EFL chairman Rick Parry on Monday and published the letter on Twitter.
He has criticised the income distribution model, which allows the club selling the streaming pass to take all the revenue from it. For instance, if Accrington hosted Derby in League One, all revenue from passes sold to Derby fans would go to the Rams.
“I write to inform you that ASFC wants no part of your iFollow operation and as such insists the EFL ceases offering streams of our club with immediate effect,” Holt’s letter began.
“When the EFL started this deliberately flawed concept, Accrington Stanley were amongst the clubs that refused to join, which was our right.
“Later the EFL board threatened my club with loss of income if we didn’t join its project. It was coercion at a time when the club was just recovering from near bankruptcy.”
Holt said he was informed two days before the EFL’s summer conference last month that there would be a vote on iFollow, to which he objected because he was unable to attend to put his argument.
League One clubs discussed the subject at the conference and then a large majority of those clubs voted the following day to make it compulsory to stream almost all matches not kicking off at 3pm on Saturdays.
Holt added in his letter: “Currently the EFL is taking away match day income and taking away our streams against our wishes and allowing others to sell them on for their private gain. I do not know how anyone at the EFL can argue this is right or just.”
Holt called for streaming proceeds to be split collectively, in the same way that television revenue is.
The EFL has not commented, but the decisions on streaming are taken as a collective by the 72 clubs.
Should Accrington choose to set up their own streaming service it would still be bound by the same regulations and income distribution agreements voted on by the clubs. PA understands Accrington would be in breach of EFL regulations if they offered no streaming service at all.
Clubs keep 100 per cent of the net revenue from the UK match passes they sell, with a royalty going to the EFL for other digital subscriptions such as the sale of overseas match passes.
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