Some foreign owners of English
Premier League clubs would stop the system of promotion and
relegation if they could, the chief executive of the League
Managers Association Richard Bevan (pictured) said on Monday.
If more clubs fell into the hands of overseas owners, the
system, the bedrock of English league football since it began in
the 1880s, could change, Bevan told the annual conference of the
Professional Players Federation.
"There are a number of overseas-owned clubs already talking
about bringing about the avoidance of promotion and relegation
in the Premier League," he told delegates, without specifying
who they were.
"If we have four or five more new owners, that could
happen," he said, adding that he hoped any such move could be
Ten of the 20 Premier League clubs are owned by foreigners,
including champions Manchester United, league leaders Manchester
City and 2010 League and FA Cup double winners Chelsea.
For any change to be made to the structure or laws of the
Premier League, 14 of the 20 need to vote in favour.
There is no relegation and promotion in the major U.S.
sports of American Football, ice hockey, baseball and
basketball, so the concept is not one that the American owners
of United and Liverpool, Aston Villa or Sunderland grew up with.
Last week Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre was widely
criticised for suggesting that Liverpool, owned by American John
W. Henry's New England Sports Ventures, could raise more
overseas television revenue if it broke away from the collective
marketing stance of the Premier League.
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