Controversial new plans for reforming the Football League have come under attack for being an “utterly ridiculous argument.”
What are the proposals?
The Football League wants to create an extra division with 20 teams in each from 2019-20. It would mean England has 100 teams in five divisions, up from 92. There are currently 24 teams in the Championship, League One and League Two.
The Football League says the move would tackle fixture congestion and boost the finances of its members. The Premier League and the Football Association have backed the proposal “in principle”.
Of the current 72 Football League clubs, 90% must support the proposal for it to go ahead. A decision will be made at their annual general meeting in June 2017.
The plans have come under attack from unnamed club chairmen in a BBC article.
The Football League claim the plans will reduce the number of away games and, as a result, the travel costs of both clubs and supporters. However, a Championship chairman told the BBC: “That is an utterly ridiculous argument. For the best-supported clubs, four home league games amounts to between £1.5m and £2m in gate receipts. For away games, our bill is around £2,000 each time. So, basically what they are saying is give up over £1m and you will save £8,000. Are you being serious?”
What they are saying is give up over £1m and you will save £8,000. Are you being serious?
If the Championship was reduced to twenty clubs then the clubs who miss out could lose £2.5m in solidarity payments given to Championship clubs by the Premier League.”Why would anyone who had a chance of being relegated from the Championship vote for that?” said the same chairman. “It is the ultimate turkeys voting for Christmas scenario.”
The Football League also claim that the plans could mean smaller squads as fewer games will be played. “Unless I am missing something, we would still need 11 starters and seven substitutes,” said the Championship chairman. “You can’t pick and choose when your players get injured. I don’t think we would be able to reduce our squad by a single player.”
The League also claim that the reduced fixture list could benefit the England team but after pointing out the handful of League players to appear for the national team, the Chairman commented: “You are not telling me this would not have any impact on the England team.”