English Premiership

English shake-up plans abandoned

2016-11-17 09:21
English FA (File)

Cape Town - Plans for the biggest shake-up in English football since the introduction of the Premier League have been abandoned after talks between the main participants broke down.

The Football League (EFL) proposed a raft of changes called the Whole Game Solution, including a five-division league - one more than present - with 20 teams in each, and a winter break.

But discussions with the Football Association (FA), the English game's governing body, foundered on a proposal to move FA Cup games to midweek from their traditional weekend slots, the EFL said in a statement on Wednesday.

"If the weekend slots are not available (for league games), then there is simply no way we can meet the financial conditions as outlined at the very outset," said EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey.

Earlier this month, the FA announced a new six-year international broadcasting deal for the FA Cup, with British media reports putting its value at about £820 million.

This made the competition too lucrative to tinker with, from the FA's point of view, and it refused to agree a new calendar for the changes which would have been introduced for the 2019-20 season.

"The stance the FA has adopted has brought the discussions to a premature end before fully understanding what the financial outcome from the creation of a new distribution model could be," added Harvey.

The EFL believes change is necessary to ease fixture congestion, make weekend games more special and help supporters by cutting down midweek travel.

Under the plans, unveiled in May, each club outside the Premier League would have seen their home fixtures reduced from 46 to 38, a contentious proposal that some clubs opposed.

Reacting to the news that the changes would not now go ahead, Julian Tagg, chairman of League Two (fourth-tier) side Exeter City, told the BBC: "Many fans across the country didn't like the idea of change and I think that was the same with our club. I think there'll be a little bit of a sigh of relief."

The FA was not immediately available to comment.

Read more on:    english fa  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 28 April 2018
Liverpool v Stoke City, Anfield 13:30
Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion, St. James' Park 16:00
Southampton v AFC Bournemouth, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Huddersfield Town v Everton, The John Smith's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Brighton & Hove Albion, Turf Moor 16:00
Swansea City v Chelsea, Liberty Stadium 18:30
Sunday, 29 April 2018
West Ham United v Manchester City, London Stadium 15:15
Manchester United v Arsenal, Old Trafford 17:30
Monday, 30 April 2018
Tottenham Hotspur v Watford, Wembley Stadium 21:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.