Foreign owners eye end to relegation

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Updated: October 18, 2011

The growing number of foreign owners in the Premier League might be beginning to have an effect, according to the chief executive of the League Manager’s association, who revealed that there have been talks in relation to scraping the relegation and promotion system between the top flight’s owners.

“There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation in the Premier League,” said Richard Bevan. “If we have four or five more new owners, that could happen.”

He said he understood that talks had taken place among “American owners and some of the Asian owners as well”.

“If you’re looking 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 and if you take, in particular, the Americans, there have without doubt been a number of them looking at possibly having more of a franchise situation,” said Bevan, who had been speaking at the annual conference of the Professional Players Federation.

“That would mean no promotion and relegation. My point is not whether this is good or bad, although personally it would not be good news for English football. My point is to ensure that the FA is strong enough to ensure the principles on which our clubs are run.”

The news has being strongly criticises by some of the Premier League owners including Wigan’s Dave Whelan and Peter Coates of Stoke.

The revelations come just days after Ian Ayre of Liverpool revealed that the Premier League giants want separate TV rights deals like in Spain.

Even if 14 of the 20 clubs voted to abandon promotion and relegation, the FA could intervene and use its “golden share” to prevent it from going ahead.

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