This morning news has broken that The F.A. are in talks with the Premier League in a bid to reduce the league to 18 teams.
Greg Dyke believes that if the league was to have 2 fewer clubs then this could aid club sides in Europe and also the National team when it comes to major tournaments.
The Premier League had 22 teams at it’s inception back in 1992 but was then reduced to the current 20 back in 1995 and if Greg Dyke was to get his way then the leagues size would be reduced even further.
This isnt’t something that could happen overnight due to the fact that television contracts are already in place up until 2019 and with two less teams in the league it would mean a total of 74 less games in over the course of the season. Therefore TV Rights deal would have to be changed to reflect the drop in games and that would mean a probable decrease in the deal itself.
Another obstacle maybe that the Football League would then have to relegate two more teams out of League 2 as I don’t think a Division of 26 teams would be feasible, therefore they would have to be some sort of financial settlement to appease the two clubs that would make way for the restructure.
I think that this will happen eventually as a trade of for not having a Winter Break, the only other option is Premier League teams not entering the League Cup but I think that’s unfair on Football League teams. Ultimately something has to give in terms of the Footballing Calendar and I think this will be the logical step forward in a few years time.
The bigger question would be how to restructure. You either stick with 3 teams going down and only the Championship winners going up that season and therefore not having the playoffs for 1 year. But I can’t see the Football League killing off the goose that lays the golden egg so the compromise may have to be 4 teams go down with two going up as it was when the last restructuring took place in 1995.
But then if 4 teams were going to go down one season could this get enough votes for the restructure to take place, Premier League Chairman voting for increased relegation sounds like Turkey’s voting for Xmas so again there is another stumbling block there.
Ultimately money talks and if there are enough financial sweeteners for the teams that would face the larger drop zone then the clubs at the top of the table with a larger vested interest due to European concerns and players representing England could have enough of a voting bloc to see it through.
I can see this happening eventually but there’s going to have to be a lot of smoothing of roadblocks if it’s to get there