The Football League has distributed a discussion document to its member clubs ahead of its summer conference and AGM next monthClubs are being asked to consider the re-organisation of the domestic league system into five divisions of 20 teams from the 2019/20 season.
Under the proposal, The Football League would become a four division competition below the Premier League, including a new League Three, with 100 clubs competing across the professional game. In addition, the League Cup and League Trophy will be retained with the latter potentially having a revised format include a group structure of three games before becoming a knockout competition thereafter.
At this point, the Board of The Football League is offering no recommendation other than asking clubs to give the matter their full consideration, taking into account the following:
- Football League Clubs should be in a financially no worse, or preferably better, position as a result of any changes;
- Promotion to/relegation from the Premier League must be retained at three places;
- There would be no relegation out of The Football League in season 2018/19;
- Football League Clubs must support the final proposal.
The proposal stems from English football’s collective concerns about the fixture calendar and enjoys the 'in principle' support of executives from the Premier League and FA. The Premier League is due to take a report to their Clubs at their summer meeting, while the FA Executive needs to consult with its Board.
The congested fixture list remains one of the game’s biggest concerns with insufficient dates available in each season to sensibly accommodate both League and Cup fixtures without significant clashes. The League’s proposal seeks to achieve a new, innovative approach to the fixture calendar and will need ‘whole game’ support as this concern is not unique to The Football League and is shared for differing reasons by both the Premier League and FA.
If implemented , the proposal would The number of midweek matches reduce from next season’s nine in the Championship, seven in League One and six in League Two to just one in the Championship, League Two and the new League Three and none in League One in 2019/20.
In considering these matters, the football authorities have identified the following objectives:
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