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Foreign owners pushing for abolishing promotion and relegation?


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Several of the biggest Premier League clubs want to scrap relegation and promotion, according to the League Managers' Association chief executive, Richard Bevan.


Bevan claimed the American and Asian owners in the top flight would be keen on a franchising model that would fly in the face of English footballing tradition. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Aston Villa and Sunderland are all in US hands, Manchester City are run from Abu Dhabi, while other clubs including Chelsea and Blackburn also have overseas investors.


He fears that if more teams change ownership there could be a vote to abolish relegation, a move which would require the backing of two thirds of Premier League clubs as well as Football Association approval. The LMA's chief executive is hoping that can be prevented by the recent parliamentary inquiry into football governance, which recommended the FA adopts a licensing system.


Speaking at the Professional Players Federation conference in London, Bevan said: "There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League. If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen."


He added: "You'll find that with American owners and you'll find that with some of the Asian owners as well. If you look at sport all around the world and you look at sport owners trying to work out how to invest and make money, you'll find that most of them like the idea of franchises.


"If you take, particularly, American owners, without doubt there have been a number of them looking at possibly having more of a franchise situation. That would mean no promotion or relegation. That would obviously not be good news for English football.


Coming from the Liverpool school of terrible ideas that will likely never happen, but really really hope this will never ever ever come to be.

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