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Sunday, 22 May 2016

A new Cup instead of a fifth league

The changes that have been proposed by the Football League, namely the introduction of a fifth league is nothing new.

Glenn Hoddle was talking about this on TV as he was a part of the consultative group that came up with the original idea as part of a look at how we could improve the fortunes of English football.

There is money in the Premier League, it is the richest league in the world, there is money in the Championship, only the major leagues beat them for TV revenue, despite the mismanagement of some clubs struggling.

A fifth division has been proposed before and rejected before, remember the clubs have to agree and so far they never have, what's different this time? Nothing.

These proposals can't be just implemented or forced on clubs so unless there is some serious convincing going on, they are just words.

No Championship side or those aspiring with the genuine belief that they can get into it are going to vote for 7 teams to be relegated in any season. You are taking their finances away from them because the leap from League One to the Championship in financial terms is huge.

Money rules the game, where is the money going to come from for a 5th league Regionalised football reduces outgoing and makes lower league football more financially viable, it allows for more targetted sponsorship and would create opportunities for localised TV coverage if some enterprising individual could conceive a TV company to broadcast a local highlights show.

games are recorded anyway so the footage is there, why not try to boost local football by showing a weekly programme for the sides based around London for instance, or sides in the North East. We have hardly any sport on the BBC now and we get repeats of programmes the day after they are shown so there is some serious cost cutting going on there. Fill some space with a local TV show in each BBC region. We go to the various regions a news time so why not for local football time.

The age-old argument of Ranger and Celtic playing in England is complete nonsense, that cuts off their route to European football and would possibly kill Scottish football that lives on the arrival of these two clubs. It's like asking PSG to go and play in Germany or Italy because they have no competition in France.

The problem with regional football is promotion and relegation, there has to be a system for all clubs to be promoted or relegated. Should League Two or League One be the start of national football, blow that is non-league football it is regionalised so just extend that and create a new Cup competition that again you get on the BBC. Tie up with them to promote the lower levels of the game, it's cheap programming.

If you split football below League One or Two into North and South or even three regions then the winners of each could be promoted and the three bottom teams relegated. Yes, that could cause future problems with sides from one area being relegated and from another promoted, like for like relegation and promotion could also cause problems., but might be the answer.

I would have a Cup competition, final at Wembley or at a major Premier League ground, for regional football. Instead of play-offs for promotion, I'd have play-offs for a Cup competition. I'd reduce the size of leagues in non-;league football and keep the play-off systems in place now.

Perhaps the teams who are contesting the play-off final for their league get put into an extra cup, along with all the other 'final' play-off sides. Decide how many you want in this cup tournament and if numbers need to be filled either add in relegated sides from the bottom tier national league, so either League One or League Two and or winners of designated regional leagues. It all depends on upon how many leagues you have feeding into the bottom tier of the national league system.

Promote and market that cup with TV involved and there is no reason you can't turn that into a money-making project that would benefit all clubs involved and non-league football. Get scouting organisations involved, have those that train scouts. Use these games as on the job type training or exam like training, again have a short Tv programme about scouting jobs in football. You could extend that to every aspect of the game, refereeing, commentary, marketing, TV production.

A whole range of cheap but useful TV programmes and a Cup competion that you could get sponsors involved with. The FA could sponsor the refereeing aspect which just happens to cover most of the cost of the TV programme. The game needs more referees so promote the role on TV.

You can change football all you like but unless more money comes into the lower reaches of the game then you aren't really changing anything by simply adding another league. It'll take a lot more than that nd I don't ee anyone pulling parties together and promoting the game at that level.



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