Football League propose structure shake-up

Morecambe FC's Globe Arena.

Morecambe FC's Globe Arena.

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The Football League has proposed a big shake-up of its division structure.

On Thursday night, they announced plans to increase the league from 72 to 80 clubs, with teams playing in four divisions of 20, in a bid to battle fixture congestion.

With the Premier League made up of 20 clubs, it would make a five-division structure of 100 clubs.

The six additional teams to join the bottom division would likely come from the National League with no relegation from the Football League in 2018/2019 part of the plans.

Under the proposals, there would be fewer midweek games – just one round of midweek fixtures in the Championship, League Two and League Three, with none in League One.

It would mean four fewer home games in a season for clubs, with the loss of revenue a concern at this early stage.

The proposals have come out of discussions between the Football League’s board, the FA and the Premier League.

The matter will be discussed at the Football League’s AGM in June but will not be voted on until the summer of 2017.

In a statement, the Football League said: “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.”