Bevan: Some clubs oppose relegation
Published : 17 Oct 2011 16:35:38
Several of the biggest Barclays Premier League clubs want to scrap relegation and promotion in the top flight, according to League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan.
Bevan claimed the American and Asian owners of Premier League sides would be keen on a franchising model that would fly in the face of English footballing tradition and fears if more teams change ownership there could be a vote to abolish relegation, a move which would require the backing of two thirds of Premier League clubs as well as FA approval.
Speaking at the Professional Players Federation conference in London, Bevan said: "There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League. If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen."
He added: "You'll find that with American owners and you'll find that with some of the Asian owners as well.
"If you look at sport all around the world and you look at sport owners trying to work out how to invest and make money, you'll find that most of them like the idea of franchises.
"If you take, particularly, American owners, without doubt there have been a number of them looking at possibly having more of a franchise situation.
"That would mean no promotion or relegation. That would obviously not be good news for English football.
"You need to make sure that the FA is strong enough to ensure that the principles on which our clubs are run, if I'm an owner coming in, I must recognise and embrace the history, the tradition, the supporters, the community, the philosophy of actually how this club should be operating and not deciding my club should be taken abroad or whatever."
Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all in American hands, Manchester City are run from Abu Dhabi, while other clubs including Chelsea and Blackburn also have foreign investors.
Even if a two thirds majority of Premier League clubs voted in favour of abolishing relegation, the move would still be unlikely to come about as the league's own rules dictate it would also require approval from the FA, which would expect to hear widespread opposition from the rest of the game.