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Proposed Premier League Reform

By Fran Mitchell :  06/11/2009 :  Comments (18) :
David Moyes has come out in support of the proposal to split the Premier League into two leagues of 18. This move would also include the highly controversial yet long time discussed proposal of relocating the Old Firm clubs from the Scottish Premier League to the English Premier League.

The idea of this move is to safe-guard the future of the also-ran clubs in the premiership from financial hardship. The initiator of this proposal is Phil Garside, the Bolton Chairman. The reasoning behind this is that mere survival in the Premier League is costing fortunes, and sending clubs into massive debts.

For all the commercial gains, season ticket sales and Sky revenue, Premier League clubs, like my ex-girlfriend, have spent it all and more before the check reaches the bank. If such a club gets relegated, and the cash cow stops milking, it can have catastrophic results.

It comes as no shock at all that Mr Moyes has come out in support of these proposals, and I’m sure Mr Kenwright agrees with him wholeheartedly. A club with so little resources and such a stretched over-draft, relegation would destroy our club. And while, as much as a few reactionaries on this site might argue differently, relegation is not currently a threat to our great club.

There is the old saying ‘no-one is too good to be relegated’, however this is not true, many clubs are too good to be relegated and Everton in our current state are one of them. We could continue playing all season like we are now and we would still avoid relegation. But in 5 years, 10 years?

It happened to Newcastle, mainly due to woeful management over a number of years. Yet if Moyes does leave, who’s to say we won’t go through a similar passage of poor manager after poor manager, slowly but surely making our team worse. And if it did happen, such a Premier League system we now see being proposed would certainly safeguard our club from financial peril.

I am wholeheartedly against this move. The idea of Premier League 1 and 2... well, it's stomach churning. And it symbolizes the destruction of the game from within, with the use of money. It would be another way of destroying the Football League, and turning the Premier League to an enclosed membership club… 30,000-seated stadium and multi-millionaire owner minimum requirement for entry. Gone would be the clubs like Burnley and Hull who have lit up the Premier League in the last 2 seasons.

It’s like admitting the current system is defunct, but rather than deal with the main problems i.e. players wages, extortionate transfer fees, lack of distribution of Champions League money and fundamentally insufficient distribution of Premier League and Sky money to the Football League clubs, they want to make it so the problems that exist never effect them. The parallels between Football Capitalism and Economic Political Capitalism are astounding.

If this league comes into play, you would see the destruction of the Football League. Club after club is already entering administration, with the compounding misery added to that with point’s deductions (which make them favourites for relegation, like that will improve their finances). Added to that will be the destruction of the Scottish Premier League and Football League. The removal of the Old Firm would perish their commercial profits, and a once great football nation would evaporate.

Money is driving the fun out of the game, no longer does a club develop a young player like Rodwell and dream of them one day being captain. No, unfortunately the dream is hopefully we can keep hold of him for 2-3 years, best case scenario.

For me, these proposals would only heighten these problems. Everton would be quite happy to sell such players at a high price, and with the knowledge that they are safeguarded from relegation to a non-Premier League profit zone, would not try too hard to replace them.

Everton and their fans, however, should see such an existence as purgatory. Such proposals would not make for a more competitive league but would see a successful super-rich group of teams, and a few who are just happy to be part of the ride and take home the cheques; this is what we already have, but it would be a heightened version.

Mr Kenwright I’m sure would be delighted at such an existence, it might just persuade him to halt that 24/7 search he’s currently undertaking and decide to make as much money off this club as possible. Maybe Mr Moyes sees it as his chance to manage Celtic and stay in the Premier League...

I know this isn’t exactly Everton related, however, I wonder what other Toffeewebbers have thought when reading about these proposals, as they will have a significant affect on our club and all football if they ever get off the ground.

Reader Comments

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Steve Pugh
1   Posted 07/11/2009 at 09:10:03

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My opinion on the proposals is simple Fran, it is wrong.

Why should certain clubs be given the right to succeed whilst the rest are doomed to mediocrity. Newcastle deserve to be where they are now and Hull deserve to be where they are. But I bet under the proposed scheme Newcastle would replace Hull(or similar) in the top 2 leagues.
Micheal Hunt
2   Posted 07/11/2009 at 09:32:04

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I am in favour, the proposals provide for more teams to benefit from increased ’premier league’ finances rather than less as the proposal is for 2 prems of 18 teams each. So 14 current Championship sides would get in straight away. I assume there is also promotion and demotion to prem 2 and championship as there is now.
Not sure where assumptions of min stadium capacity rules come from and whether this is any more or less likely whether the proposed changes kick in or not.
There is good and bad to changing times, it would certainly freshen up the fixture calendar and add additional colour with visits from hoardes of skirt wearing haggis munchers....hopefully not to the banks of the Alt tho!?
Christine Foster
3   Posted 07/11/2009 at 10:22:55

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There is an old saying that over a season your form dictates your true position. No one is immune from relegation, all you have to do is sell your best players, buy poorly if at all, have a small squad and make poor tactical decisions.

It helps if your team can pass of course or score now and again, But most of all have a coach who can not only motivate but out think his opposite number.

It seems we have an abundance of the first and an absence of the latter. We are were we deserve to be at the moment.

If we don’t raise the stakes we may well be in for a fight. A season of turmoil indeed.
Rupert Sullivan
4   Posted 07/11/2009 at 10:37:23

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Fran, you couldn’t have put it more succinctly.

The money in the game is changing it, and to my mind for the worse. A Europe-wide if not global change would be required to address these issues however, it is my belief that the people who could make such changes won’t - for risk of annoying their paymasters in chief. So as you say, rather than address the problem, they will try to shift it around until it looks different, so the game has another decade or so before the same situation occurs - then I suppose someone will suggest a 3 tier Premier League!
Nick Entwistle
5   Posted 07/11/2009 at 11:57:49

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Excellent idea. Wipe out over 100 years of history for financial benefit.

When the rules of football need to be changed, its not the football that’s the problem. That’s how they should approach the financial mess teams get them selves into.

As for the Scots coming in... no! Why choose them? Let's have Inter and Barca! All a nonsense.

I’d also presume if this became any closer to reality, we’d have the extra match played abroard as well...
Guy Hastings
6   Posted 07/11/2009 at 11:58:20

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Michael H - I believe that when Gartside originally put these proosals together relegation from the bottom tier to the netherworld of the Football League was to be a thing of the past. It would be hermetically sealed. He’s changed his tune since then but the concept still sucks (as does the current Premier League system). As for Rangers and Celtic joining in, it’s a disgrace. Club accountants may hear the ching of cash registers but in football terms it’ll do nothing to raise standards on the pitch. And why Celtic and Rangers? If this had been proposed during Aberdeen’s glory days under Lord Ferg, would they have been invited, too?
Jay Harris
7   Posted 07/11/2009 at 13:11:47

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Fran an extremely well written post highlighting the feelings I am sure of many matchgoing supporters throughout the country.

However gate receipts are no longer the driving force for most clubs.

It is now a global game with the premiership being one of the favourites for overseas markets.

While I hate to say it that is the future and the clubs can only embrace it and go for the ride.

However I totally agree with your point about players wages and transfer fees.

It must be the only industry where trading people still exists and contracts arent worth the paper they’re written on.

It is becoming a depressing world where £ signs are far more important than values.

However I disagree with you on us not getting drawn into a relegation fight.

Newcastle complacently thought the same until the heart and spirit was drained from the players and I see similarities in our players now.Pressure is a two way feeling it may force you to try harder but if you keep failing it drains confidence and that regrettably is IMO where we are now.

We need a boost and Jags requiring further surgey is not it.

Where is Phil neville when you need him to make a season changing tackle.Where are the high quality new face(s) when you need them.

I’m still watching this space from 2 years ago and it is not a pleasant feeling.
Martin Mason
8   Posted 07/11/2009 at 17:11:51

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The idea that Everton are immune from relegation is simply nonsense that would require wholesale ignoring of our current results, which have relegation potential written all over them.
Sean Patton
9   Posted 07/11/2009 at 18:40:15

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I just love the irony of the Scottish people who on the one hand want independence from the United Kingdom and nothing to do with England, then on the other hand want the two old firm clubs to waltz straight into the Premier League.

Make up your minds!
Chris Butler
10   Posted 07/11/2009 at 22:21:29

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I think it is a good idea as, for example, clubs like Luton do not go bust through no fault of their own. It means that greater support can be given to clubs such as Accrington Stanley. It also means that you don’t have clubs such as Newcastle in the same league as Scunthorpe.

Clubs such as Charlton who had not planned for relagation have really struggled. Leeds United have set attendance records for League 1; this has positive effects and negative effects.

On another point, it would have an enormous affect on the Scottish League as this season, Scottish fans have increasingly become sick and tired of Scottish football. The new league would avoid disaster such as Bradford in 2001. As they ended up paying ridiculous wages to players such a Carbone eventually nearly causing them to collapse completely.

Let's be honest, the Premier League has become boring; I think this would be a good idea. But I think the best idea to bring competiveness back to English top division football is a maximum transfer budget, as it's unfair that Manchester City can make ridiculous offers for players and nobody can compete with them financially.

But also certain clubs that get promoted just do not have a large enough support to help them to compete with the larger clubs.

Chris Butler
11   Posted 07/11/2009 at 22:39:30

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Well to Guy Hastings, Aberdeen do not have millions of supporters nationwide and worldwide to the same extent Rangers and Celtic do. Also, it's unfair that nobody can win the league except two teams each season, with the other 10 teams becoming Rangers and Celtic feeder clubs.
Stephen Graham
12   Posted 07/11/2009 at 22:35:45

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@Sean Patton

"...the Scottish people who ... want independence from the United Kingdom". The Scottish people do not want independence from the UK. Check your facts. If you haven’t got much time then Wiki it.


"... want the two old firm clubs to waltz straight into the Premier League." The Old Firm sides have said often that they would be prepared to start in the lower of the two leagues, or indeed even lower in the FA League. There is the precedent in that Cardiff and Swansea have teams in the English leagues. Moreover, Rangers and Celtic and their supporters hardly represent the ’independence’ seeking Scottish people.

I love the irony that you can form complex, well structured sentences, and yet do so without thinking through the content.

The disadvantage to Everton, indeed any of the non-top (4,5,6?) clubs run a risk of relegation by finishing 17th/18th in a smaller league with fewer games (34 as against 38).

Aren’t you all excited about the idea of a post-match bevvie on Sauchiehall Street?
Stephen Graham
13   Posted 07/11/2009 at 23:04:03

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@Chris Butler,

"Also, it’s unfair that nobody can win the league except two teams each season, with the other 10 teams becoming Rangers and Celtic feeder clubs."

Very true.

With a slight change (increase the number of teams to three) that same sentence might also apply to the Premier League currently.
Derek Thomas
14   Posted 08/11/2009 at 06:08:50

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The Sky people and others in the franchise business, coz thats what it is / will turn into, all work off the one model.

McD’s is NOT a global business, it is 10,000 little ones. All on the same plan. If you were a worker in Todmorden, on say, the fries, you could go to Timbuctoo and fit right in, hit the ground running. The aim is to not have the people run / operate / manage the business, but rather to have a plan that manages the people.

Think back to the 80’s, Everton, European and world team of the year...Widnes World champions.

Enter the Sky business plan. Widnes, told to amalgamate with bitter rivals Warrington, had, thank God, the guts or plain stubbornness to say no.

And where are they now?? in the 2nd tier, I know lets call it...er..Prem 2.

Two into one doesn’t go.

Some one mentioned Newcastle as against Hull. Well according to ’ The Plan ’ not a problem. One team, One City, up to a point Isolated catchment areas

Widnes, Warrington, Wigan, St Helens, Leeds. The big 5...We were in the Big 5 like Widnes.

It’s the thin end of the wedge, The Prem 1 and Prem 2 roads don’t lead to Rome, It doesn’t even lead to The financial Oblivion that is the Leeds of Revie, not the Leeds of Eddie Waring

It Ieads to...WIDNES !

Light bulb moment...

Ah, So THAT’S why we have to go to Knowsley eh Bill
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 08/11/2009 at 11:33:11

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’Aren’t you all excited about the idea of a post-match bevvie on Sauchiehall Street?’


I often see the old firms idea of a ’post match bevie’ in Belfast...

We also seen Rangers at their ’bevying’ last week.....oh and I recall a little bevying in Manchester last year..

There’s enough problems without letting these two neanderthals into the league.... So, no thanks.
Thai Indawongse
16   Posted 09/11/2009 at 06:17:34

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Personally, I’d like to see the English and Scottish League merge into the British Premier League. Imagine Man United, Everton, Celtic, Rangers, Chelsea and so on in the same league!
Chris Butler
17   Posted 11/11/2009 at 12:38:36

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To Ciaran, out of the 150,000 only 100 to 200 people were involved in disturbances. On your point, every club has a mix of racists, thug, and drunks. I was speaking to a Cardiff fan on holiday and he was saying about the shame a small minority had brought on his beloved club. The behaviour of a tiny minority at Wembley for the semi-final. It only takes a small minority to tarnish a whole club.
Chris Butler
18   Posted 11/11/2009 at 12:44:55

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To Stephen Graham. Well I think it's only going to be too soon mate. As much as we cannot go 1 day without being told the Premier League is the best in the world, I disagree.

Since the Premier League started, only four teams have won the league. In the same time period in Germany. Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Stuggart, Bayer Leverkusen, Schlaike, Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg have won the Bundesliga.

Opinions may differ but the transfer budget cap in Argentina has created one of the most exciting leagues in the world. Previously like Scotland, it was just between two teams... now anyone can win the league.

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