Plans for two-tier Premier League

 
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faceless
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:41 am    Post subject: Plans for two-tier Premier League Reply with quote

Two-tier Premier League plan featuring Celtic and Rangers faces rejection
Plans for a radical overhaul of the English football pyramid based on an expansion of the Premier League to cover two divisions and the inclusion of Celtic and Rangers are expected to get a lukewarm reception from Premier League chairmen on Thursday.
By Paul Kelso,
Chief Sports Reporter
telegraph.co.uk
11 Nov 2009

The plans, drawn up by Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, are intended to bridge the financial gap between the Premier League elite and the rest of the game, but they are thought to have little chance of being accepted by a majority of club chairmen. Gartside has circulated a summary of his proposals running to just two pages to club chairmen in the Premier League and Championship.

The document, produced in response to Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore's call for contributions to a strategic review, outlines six key points, which Gartside says will increase the popularity and profitability of the game. The document proposes increasing the total number of teams in the Premier League by extending it to two divisions, split into an upper and lower tier. The upper tier would be 18 teams, while Celtic and Rangers would be invited to join the lower tier, which has an unspecified number of clubs. Increased overseas TV revenues and the 36 million in parachute payments that presently go to relegated clubs would be used to "seed fund" the expansion. Sources at the Premier League and Football League have indicated that the Gartside proposal, though well-meaning, has little chance of gaining momentum among clubs.

His motivation is to protect the ability of sides such as Bolton to compete, and to cushion the blow for those relegated, where broadcast revenues are less than 10 per cent of those in the Premier League. While a number of club chairmen share his concerns, he is likely to fall short of the 14 that will be required to effect change. A more likely outcome is that his intervention will spark renewed debate about the distribution of television revenue within the league.

At the moment the club finishing bottom receive about 60 per cent of the sum paid to the champions. Last season that amounted to a gap of 20 million between the 51m paid to Manchester United and the 31m received by West Bromwich Albion. This gap is exacerbated by the extra revenue earned by Champions League clubs, which has helped polarise the league between the 'Big Four' and the rest.

Bridging that gap increasingly looks beyond medium-sized clubs like Bolton, who have to run to standstill. In the club's holding company annual report, published last week, Gartside said that addressing this income gap was the league's greatest challenge: "Addressing this polarisation of clubs and the increasing revenue differentials will, I believe, be the major strategic issue for the Premier League over the coming years. The gap between Premier League revenues and those of the Championship continues to widen and I believe a 'fear factor' is beginning to emerge among Premier League clubs outside the top few."

Such are the financial realities of the league that last season Blackburn cautioned in their accounts that there was little or no chance of them making a profit in the medium-term, despite the unprecedented media revenues. Three years ago the Premier League responded to concerns raised by Gartside and others by changing its distribution formula so that all clubs were guaranteed a minimum of 10 "facility fees", received for appearing in live games, which last season amounted to more than 5m. That debate is likely to be revived even if Gartside's revolutionary proposal is not pursued.

Celtic and Rangers' inclusion is also likely to meet with opposition, with Scudamore already having indicated that it is unlikely. There are major security concerns about admitting the Old Firm clubs to English football, and there would be significant resistance from the Football Associations in England and Scotland. The impact on Scottish football would be devastating, removing the primary source of income for all clubs.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates agreed with Gartside that the English game needed reviewing but said he would not support the Old Firm proposal: "We have lots of fine clubs in England to play and we have a system that has worked very well in a competitive sense. We have 20 teams in the Premier League and they are all tough games. If Celtic and Rangers were to come in, after a while that would become the norm. It would be no big thing. I think the minuses outweigh the pluses."

Gartside's formula:

1: Expand total number of teams in Premier League.

2: Extend league to two divisions split into upper and lower tier.

3: Reduce upper tier to 18 teams. Number in lower tier not specified.

4: Use extra overseas TV revenue and 36 million parachute payments to fund expansion.

5: Invite Celtic and Rangers to join lower tier.

6: Consider the regulatory challenges, mainly from English and Scottish FAs.

------------------------

It seems like he's come up with a fair plan, but there's too much money involved for fairness to be the deciding factor. So not everyone can afford to play the beautiful game.
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funkyfunkpants



Joined: 05 Oct 2008

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the view of the Celtic fans on this?
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faceless
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'd be up for it, but I got banned from that Celtic fan site I was on recently for challenging bigotry with harsh sarcasm and harsher abuse, so I'm not sure what they think! I'm sure a lot of them would be unhappy about the European aspect though, as it would mean that Celtic wouldn't have a chance to qualify for at least a few years.
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modern



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny Faceless...I got banned from a Spurs site for exactly the same reasons!

Seem to be a lot of cads on football fan sites these days...
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faceless
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The worst thing about it being on a Celtic fan site is that so many of them freak out about Rangers fans being bigots with their anti-Catholic/Irish stance, but apparently it's ok if someone is anti-Islamic.
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modern



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes, the same being with the Spurs sites where any sniff of anti-Semitic comments are quickly censured...while it's ok to call Robbie Keane or the Irish a 'Pikey' without anyone being rebuked or banned.

Some people don't even know their own ignorances.
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faceless
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's exactly it - and they don't even seem interested in recognising their hypocrisy. In my instance I think the Rangers fans are more honest, because at least they don't pretend to have a moral standpoint.

Anyway, news about the two-tier setup is that it has been rejected out of hand. no surprise there.
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modern



Joined: 04 Jan 2009

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure how this two-tier system would have dealt with relegation and promotion. I certainly wouldn't want the English Premier League to go the way of the league structures of American sports, such as the NFL.
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faceless
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2009 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would have had a year or two of shuffling, which I think they've done a few times before. Didn't they change the 'First Division' from 22 teams to 20 when it became the Premier League?
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